Arrested With Dozens of Counterfeit Credit Cards, Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud, Wire Fraud
WICHITA, KAN. – A Texas man who was arrested with dozens of counterfeit credit cards pleaded guilty Monday to federal bank fraud and wire fraud charges, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.
Justin Russell Bennett, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud, one count of wire fraud, one count of using a counterfeit credit card, one count of using an embossing machine to create counterfeit credit cards, one count of possession of 15 or more counterfeit credit cards and one count of aggravated identity theft.
Bennett was arrested Sept. 22, 2014, when he ran out of gas on Interstate 70 in Sherman County, Kan. Officers seized 47 counterfeit credit cards, an embossing machine, thousands of blank credit cards and other materials used to create counterfeit cards. He used counterfeit credit cards to rent vehicles, rent motel rooms, purchase items he sold through Internet sites and obtain cash advances.
Sentencing is set for Sept. 14. The crimes carry the following penalties:
Bank fraud: A maximum penalty of 30 years and a fine up to $1 million.
Wire fraud: A maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000.
Using a counterfeit credit card: A maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000.
Using an embossing machine to create counterfeit cards: A maximum penalty of 15 years and a fine up to $250,000.
Possession of 15 or more counterfeit cards: A maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000.
Aggravated identity theft: A mandatory two years consecutive to other sentences and a fine up to $250,000.
The Sherman County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Secret Service investigated. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Jacobs is prosecuting.