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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

McKees Rocks Man Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charge

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of access device fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Joseph E. Placzek, 25 of McKees Rocks, PA, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Terrence F. McVerry.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was informed that Placzek opened credit cards in the name of another person at Capital One bank, which he used to purchase cruise vacations at Carnival Cruise, as well as merchandise at and Home Depot, among other retailers totaling approximately $69,000.

Judge McVerry scheduled sentencing for Nov. 11, 2016 at 10 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Gregory C. Melucci is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

Inspectors from Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Postal Inspection Service, as part of the Western Pennsylvania Financial Crimes Task Force (WPFCTF), conducted the investigation that led to the successful prosecution of this defendant. The WPFCTF was established as a collaborative, multi-agency effort to effectively combat financial crimes, including identity fraud, in Western Pennsylvania. Partnering in this effort are the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the United States Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Department of Homeland Security, the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office, the Allegheny County Police Department, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and the Pennsylvania State Police.

Updated August 16, 2016