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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Two Men Indicted For Having 55 Fake Credit Cards That They Used To Purchase More Than $5,000 In Merchandise

A grand jury returned a four-count indictment charging two men with crimes related to their possession of approximately 55 fraudulently obtained credit cards that they used to purchase more than $5,000 worth of merchandise from various merchants at Beachwood Place and Golden Gate, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

“These men are accused of going on a shopping spree with fake credit cards,” Dettelbach said. “We all pay the price when people engage in theft like this, and this office will work with our partners to stamp out credit-card fraud.”

James Gibson of Orlando, Florida, and Lansford Beuns of Newport News, Virginia, were indicted on counts of (1) conspiracy to commit access device fraud; (2) use of unauthorized access devices; (3) possession of 15 or more counterfeit access devices and (4) possession of device-making equipment.

The indictment charges that in December 2012, Gibson and Beuns possessed approximately 55 counterfeit access devices (credit cards) upon which fraudulently acquired account information had been re-encoded and embossed using an encoder and an embosser in their possession.

The indictment further charges that Gibson and Beuns used the counterfeit access devices and unauthorized access devices to purchase thousands of dollars of merchandise from various merchants in Beachwood and Mayfield Heights, Ohio.

Among the purchases identified in the indictment, which all took place on Dec. 1 or Dec. 2, 2012, are:

* Abercrombie and Fitch, 26300 Cedar Road, $258.

* The Buckle, 26300 Cedar Road, $336.

* Saks Fifth Avenue, 26300 Cedar Road, $1,729.

* True Religion Jeans, 26300 Cedar Road, $623.

* Best Buy, 1417 Golden Gate Boulevard, $3,027.

If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendants’ prior criminal records, if any, the defendants’ roles in the offense and the characteristics of the violations. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Margaret A. Sweeney, following an investigation by the United States Secret Service.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated March 12, 2015