A gang member pleaded guilty in federal court to bank fraud and
identity theft. The man had been convicted in 2014 for the same offenses, but a federal appeals court overturned the man’s conviction. In this case, he entered guilty pleas to 30 felony offenses.
According to prosecutors, the man ran a credit-card skimming operation at 99 Cents Only stores throughout Southern California. The scheme allowed the gang to steal customers’ credit and debit card numbers as well as their PIN codes. He has a 2004 conviction for another debit card scheme. At the time of his arrest, he was in possession of a firearm. As a result, he also faced weapons charges in the case.
Eight years ago, federal prosecutors charged more than 90 people in the scam. Most of the indicted people have been convicted and are already serving prison sentences. The man will return to court on October 7 for sentencing. At that time, the judge could impose a decades-long prison sentence.
Los Angeles Identity Theft Lawyer
When you face charges of identity theft, hire an experienced identity theft lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes identity crimes cases in any federal circuit in the United States. He also takes state cases in Los Angeles County.
This case illustrates the dual nature of identity crimes; you can face charges in either federal or state courts. Federal cases often involve large numbers of people, or large-dollar losses. Identity-related crimes are often of special interest to prosecutors because they can lead to more significant crimes. Additionally, gangs often participate in organized identity theft cases, and prosecutors have a special interest in prosecuting criminal organizations.
Don’t assume that because you’re facing federal charges that you can’t win in court. You can prevail in federal court, but you need an experienced attorney by your side.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County identity theft case.
Photo Credit: Social Woodlands, via Flickr.com