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Criminal Charges, XLII: When it comes to credit card crimes, father knows best

Jeremy Simon

Children can learn a lot from parents, which is why personal finance experts advocate that moms and dads teach kids about important details surrounding money and payments, including how credit cards work.

But for some fathers, the education they pass down teaches their youngsters more about credit cards and crime than about what they actually should be doing with plastic. This week, Criminal Charges takes a look at three of these dads and the identity theft and card crimes they are accused of committing.

Chinese police official uses stolen identity to help daughter’s college admission
Think only U.S. parents will go to absurd lengths to help ensure their kids get into college? In China, a denied credit card application led to the revelation that a police official had stolen exam results in an effort to help his daughter’s university admission process.

According to a report by Reuters, “Wang Zhengrong, formerly of the Public Security Bureau in Shaodong County in the southern province of Hunan, was charged with forging and altering official documents and seals in 2004, the China Youth Daily said.” Apparently, he passed off the identity information and exam results of another girl in his daughter’s class as belonging to his daughter, who had failed the National Examination for College Entrance.

“The classmate, Luo Caixia, eventually gained a place at another university,” BBC News reports.

The theft apparently took some time to come to light. On May 13, the Chinese newspaper reported that Wang’s alleged crime was uncovered when the classmate found she was unable to apply for a credit card because her ID number belonged to someone else — the police official’s daughter.

That wasn’t all the classmate suffered. “Worse, she could not find a job because the graduation and teaching certificates she had been working toward could not be issued as they had already been issued to someone else using her name,” reports Channel NewsAsia.

“The issue eventually attracted the attention of Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu who demanded an investigation,” reports Reuters.

Cheating appears to be an inter-generational affair: Reuters describes competition for spots at Chinese colleges as “fierce,” with students paying for leaked exam papers, smuggling mobile phones and electronic dictionaries into tests and paying others to take exams for them.

Dad, son bond over credit card theft

Mark_Carter_Jr.jpgFather and son duo Mark Wayne Carter Sr. and Mark Wayne Carter Jr. of Charles Town, W.Va., shared more than just a name. They allegedly also shared a tendency toward supporting drug habits through crime.

The apparently questionable Carters (whose names responsible rapper Dwayne “Lil Wayne” Carter undoubtedly would find a little too close for comfort) were arraigned on May 18 after being arrested for stealing their neighbor’s credit card. That plastic was allegedly used to buy tools and gift cards.

The Journal of Martinsburg, W. Va., reports that “they allegedly used their neighbor’s Lowe’s credit card to purchase various tools that they could pawn for drug money, according to the police report.”

Both Carters were charged with credit card fraud and could each face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Father of two busted for operating Queens call girl ring
As authorities attack Web sites where online prostitutes ply their trade, the accused co-owners of a Queens, N.Y., call girl ring that advertised exclusively on Craigslist each face up to 25 years in prison on charges of corruption, conspiracy and money laundering.

Scott (Sal) Rosenberg and Josef Davenport, a married father of two, allegedly ran Room Service Entertainment. Prosecutors allege that “in its effort to dodge law enforcement, the company used code for its services: Clients could ask for a ‘GFE’ (girlfriend experience) or inquire about ‘skiing’ and ‘rock climbing’ (drugs),” the New York Daily News reports.

Apparently, the business even took plastic. “Credit card bills showed the johns were charged for ordering balloons or hiring clowns and disk jockeys for parties,” the Daily News report. Wouldn’t it be an interesting twist if requesting a “hooker” on Craigslist was in fact code for seeking a clown capable of making balloon animals?

According to TV station WPIX, “The operation was based in Ozone Park, Queens and serviced customers in the five boroughs, Long Island and Westchester from June 2007 through December 2008, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo office says.”

See related: Can forcing credit card use change behavior?

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