Credit and Debit Card Crimes, Financial Transaction Devices

Under Michigan criminal laws, credit cards and debit cards are referred to financial transaction devices which may also include gift cards or rebate cards! In Michigan, you can be charged with a felony for improperly using your own credit/debit card or if you possess/use the credit/debit card of another person without consent.

Penalties for Credit and Debit Card Crimes (FTD = Financial Transaction Device)

Crime Maximum Imprisonment and Fines
Possession of FTD with intent4 years and/or $5,000.00
Forgery of FTD4 years and/or $5,000.00
Use of FTD in excess of funds or limits
Under $200
93 days and/or $500 or 3x the value of property
Use of FTD in excess of funds or limits
$200 but less than $1,000
1 year and/or $2,000 or 3x the value of property
Use of FTD in excess of funds or limits
$1,000 but less than $20,000
5 years and/or $10,000 or 3x the value of property

Aggregate Amount of Loss in Multiple Transactions May Mean Felony Charges

In cases involving economic crimes such as credit card fraud, embezzlement or retail fraud, the prosecutor may opt to charge separately for each illegal transaction or may opt to pursue a felony charge when the aggregate amount of multiple transactions is $1,000.00 or more. In addition, Michigan’s restitution laws requires the court to order the defendant to make full restitution to any victim of defendant’s course of conduct for crimes involving property damage, monetary losses or personal injuries.

ABDO LAW has an excellent record of getting positive results when a client is charged with an economic crime. We know that credit card fraud can be linked with other closely related crimes including: Use of a Computer to Commit a Crime and Embezzlement and identity theft. We have an excellent record of managing these cases in the early stage of a criminal investigation to get the case under control and minimize or avoid criminal charges.

Credit Card Fraud: Unlawful Possession, Unlawful Use, Lack of Consent

Possession of another person’s credit card without consent is a felony. In these situations, the credit card is usually stolen from a vehicle, home or person. In many cases, the credit card is shared between various individuals and there is a red flag that the origin of the credit card is suspicious.

However, in many criminal investigations involving allegations of credit card fraud, a person may have lawful possession of another’s credit card because of a prior relationship and consent of the other party to utilize the card. A common scenario occurs when a parties in a close relationship or family members authorize use a credit card for one purpose but it is used for another. Similarly, a caregiver for a disabled person or senior citizen may have limited authority to use a credit card to buy groceries and pick up prescriptions for the disabled or elderly party. The conduct becomes a felony when the caregiver engages in transactions that are alleged to be outside the scope of consent or the relationship. The matter is turned over to the police after credit card and bank statements are scrutinized and suspicious activity is uncovered.

Credit Card Fraud Investigations: Paper Trail of Evidence, Police will Attempt to Get a Confession

A criminal investigation by the police involving credit card fraud is not always cut and dry especially when the accused had prior consent to use the device. Often, the police are asked to sift through a mountain of bank records and credit card statements in situations where family relationships have deteriorated and a caregiver is accused of fraud. If you find yourself in this situation or accused of any crime involving credit card fraud DON’T TALK TO THE POLICE and retain a lawyer to speak with the detective on your behalf.

Police are Trained Interrogators, Consult with a Lawyer,

It is important to consult with an attorney if you are the subject of a criminal investigation. The police rarely need to examine piles of bank records when a person is charged with an economic crime such as credit card fraud or embezzlement. This is because most people get trapped into making a detailed confession or provide incriminating admissions which are sufficient to support criminal charges.

The police are trained to utilize proven interrogation tactics to corner the accused party, obtain a confession and negate any consent or viable defense. Should a party deny criminal allegations, the police will schedule a polygraph examination which is based on doubtful science and should be avoided unless advised otherwise by a criminal defense lawyer.

Contact the ABDO LAW FIRM if you contacted by the police or are charged with any criminal offense, including a misdemeanor or felony. Our highly rated criminal defense lawyers will take great care early in your case to determine possible defenses and the best course of action. In certain cases, an economic crime may be disposed of by agreeing to pay restitution and having the matter deferred and dismissed pursuant to MCL 771.1 (delayed sentence) or HYTA for youthful offenders age 17 to 24.

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