Criminal Charges: The parade of card crime rolls on
As you recover from the long Labor Day weekend, this week’s list of credit card crimes has gems involving corrupt government officials, a cab ride that turned really ugly and doll-loving card thieves.
- In England, former London deputy mayor Ian Clement was charged Aug. 4 with fraud in connection with alleged misuse of a corporate credit card, The Guardian reports. Clement resigned from his post in June following allegations about his card use.
- Also in the U.K., the Morning Star reports former anti-terrorist officer Matthew Washington — who improperly used a credit card meant for work-related expenses — has walked free from court. Washington, who was given a six-month prison sentence suspended for a year, made charges with the plastic for clothes from his favorite retailer and “sexual accoutrements” at an adult toy store.
- Talk about bold: Thomas D. Hillibrush of Mahanoy City, Pa., has been charged with entering the home and stealing the credit card of a woman who had left her front door open while bringing in groceries. According to the Republican Herald, when she went to retrieve her purse from a couch after carrying in the purchases, the woman noticed her missing was wallet. The wallet had contained $20, an ATM card, three credit cards, a driver’s license and a Social Security card. Police say the woman informed them two hours later that her bank said the card had been used for a purchase.
- The Manhattan District Attorney announced Aug. 31 the indictment of five Eastern European men in connection with a multinational, Internet-based fraud operation known as the Western Express Cybercrime Group. The group was allegedly responsible for mre than $4 million worth of credit card fraud and trafficking in more than 95,000 stolen credit card numbers.
- The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff received $30,000 in donations from the company behind Google Money Tree, a program federal regulators and state authorities in Utah and Texas say ran an unlawful scam. Google Money Tree — which has no affiliation with the popular search engine — advertised a program enabling participants to earn thousands of dollars working from home, but it instead resulted, in some cases, in monthly service charges of $72.21 on participants’ credit cards. Federal lawyers say those charges were not made clear in the company’s service agreements.
- The Contra Costa Times reports that the Council on American-Islamic relations is asking authorities to pursue hate crimes charges against Michael Goldstein and Jacob Billingsley after the San Ramon Valley, Calif., men allegedly assaulted a cab driver following a dispute over payment by credit card. Police say the men attacked taxi driver Jaswinder Bangar after a heated argument over whether they could pay their cab fare with plastic escalated into ethnic slurs and eventually violence.
- Nowadays, criminals get started so young. Cleveland.com reports that while police were investigating a “suspicious Webkinz doll” sent to a family’s address, the parents of a 9-year-old girl suspected that she may have ordered the stuffed animal using her parents’ credit card.
Until next week…