Fraudster Sentenced For “Force Posting” Scheme
Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven has sentenced Kareem Patrick Campbell (19) to time served (approximately 13 months in prison) for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. As part of his sentence, the Court entered a money judgment in the amount of $227,375.85, the proceeds of the wire fraud conspiracy. Campbell was also ordered to pay restitution to the victims of his offense. Campbell pleaded guilty on May 4, 2016. He has been incarcerated since his arrest on related state charges on August 13, 2015.
According to court documents, between April 2015 and August 2015, Campbell and others conspired to commit and committed wire fraud by providing fake bank authorization codes to merchants throughout Florida and elsewhere, including North Carolina, as part of a scheme commonly known as “force posting.” Campbell and his co-conspirators targeted jewelry stores, car accessory retailers, and hotels. As part of the scheme, Campbell would present a canceled debit card that lacked sufficient funds to pay for his purchases. When the card was declined, Campbell would then call a co-conspirator, who would pretend to be a bank customer service employee and would provide a fake authorization code to the merchant, along with instructions on how to key the code into the merchant’s point of sale machine. These fake codes caused merchants to override their credit card processing machines’ denials of the debit card. As a result of the scheme, the conspirators were able to successfully purchase jewelry and other items worth at least $227,375.85.
On May 11, 2016, a grand jury in the Middle District of Florida returned an 11-count indictment charging one of Campbell’s co-conspirators, Rajiv Edwards, with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud. Edwards remains at large.
This case is being investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Tampa Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Megan K. Kistler.