Man Arrested on Credit Card Fraud Charges for Allegedly Using Father’s Card for $44,000
A Gainesville Florida resident, 38 year old Stephen W. Maxwell, was arrested when it was reported to police that the man had used a “Discover” credit card belonging to his father without prior permission. He allegedly spent at least $44,000 over a period spanning more than 12 months.
It has been reported that he undertook 870 transactions, none of which had he gained approval from his father. The card was mainly used for purchasing items at amusement parks, bars, fast food cafes and golf courses.
At the time, the father did not press any charges but he did challenge the amount spent with Discover, which in response refunded the value of the 870 purchases.
Maxwell was reported to have told the police that he had been given permission to make the purchases with the card, but his father claimed this was not true. Police as a consequence decided that Maxwell had unlawfully used the card, which had meant Discover lost money.
They arrested him on Grand Theft charges for $20,000 and for fraud because he had used someone else’s ID to get $20,000 worth of goods.
When it comes to a criminal court case, the prosecution will need to prove that Maxwell intentionally took possession of the goods knowing that he did not have permission to do so. He will need an aggressive Miami criminal defense attorney if he wants the best chance of not being convicted of the crime of grand theft, as Florida’s penalties for grand theft are high.
A charge of felony Grand Theft is generally for thefts in the amount of $300 or more, but when tens of thousands of dollars of goods are allegedly misappropriated this could result in a grand theft charge that would draw state prison time. This is a 3rd degree felony offense which could attract a $5,000 fine and/or a term in prison of up to five years, plus restitution to the victim, in this case, the Discover card.
Typically, there are two types of larceny, one of which has occurred as a result of defrauding someone to get goods and the other when goods are taken directly from an individual without permission. In either of these cases the prosecutor has to prove that the property was taken by deceit or the intention by the thief was to permanently remove the property from the owner’s possession.
The best Miami criminal defense lawyers will ensure the value of the goods is assessed correctly, as this could be the difference between being convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony. In the case of Maxwell, the money taken out from the Discover card account helps to identify the value of the goods, but the defense will have to be able to calculate what was defrauded by Maxwell and what spending on the card was done by Maxwell’s father, or whether Maxwell truly had his fathers approval when he purchased the items.
When it comes to fraud matters that take place between family members, the prosecution can never be sure if their evidence is sound enough to stand up in court, but it gives a Florida defense lawyer the chance to ensure the truth is revealed so the defendant may not necessarily receive as harsh a penalty as the prosecution may wish to impose.
If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: 305-644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.