Criminal Justice News

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Elk Grove Man Charged with Debit Card Fraud

SACRAMENTO, CA—A federal grand jury returned a 23-count indictment today charging Mordechay Altit, aka Michael Altit, aka Anthony Altit, aka Tony Altit, 33, of Elk Grove, with mail fraud, wire fraud, access device fraud, and money laundering, associated with his fraudulent use of debit cards and merchant and terminal identification numbers, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to the indictment, Altit applied for debit cards issued from banks or other providers of debit cards in his own name or using the names and Social Security numbers of other persons. Altit then used merchant and terminal identification numbers issued to merchants and businesses across the country to cause fraudulent refunds and credits to be placed on the debit cards he controlled. Before the businesses could rescind these transactions, Altit used the cards to spend and transfer the money. Altit attempted to have at least $450,000 in fraudulent merchant returns credited to his debit cards.

This case is the product of a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service, and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorney Lee S. Bickley is prosecuting the case.

The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of mail fraud or wire fraud is 20 years and a $250,000 fine. The maximum statutory penalty for use of a counterfeit or unauthorized access devices is 10 years and a $250,000 fine. The maximum statutory penalty for effecting a transaction with one or more access devices issued to another person is 15 years and a $250,000 fine. The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of money laundering is 20 years and a $500,000 fine. The actual sentence, if convicted, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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