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Press Release

Tampa Man Sentenced To More Than Four Years In Prison For Using Counterfeit Credit Cards

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Virginia Hernandez Covington has sentenced Michael Washington (34, Tampa) to four years and three months in federal prison for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. The court also entered a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $143,532, the total proceeds of the fraud. Washington pleaded guilty on February 2, 2018.         

According to court documents, on July 2, 2016, Washington was arrested at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa with nine counterfeit credit cards, encoded with account numbers from Canadian Imperial National Bank (CIBC) in his possession. He fraudulently used the CIBC account numbers to encode and emboss the credit cards that he then used to purchase goods, including cartons of cigarettes from the Tribal Smoke Shop, and gift cards from retail stores in Florida. Washington sold the gift cards for cash, for approximately 60% of their face value.

Washington sold more than 490 gift cards that he had purchased with counterfeit CIBC cards, with a value exceeding $44,000. The total loss for the nine counterfeit credit cards and the fraudulent purchases, including the cigarettes, was $143,532.47.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, and the Seminole Tribe Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kelley C. Howard-Allen.


Updated April 24, 2018

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft