Credit card fraud and other forms of identity theft are serious problems in Louisiana, and both state and federal laws call for tough punishments for those convicted of these crimes. As with other white-collar crimes, people accused of identity theft may be surprised at how much trouble they are in.
A Louisiana man was recently charged with credit card fraud after police say he used stolen credit card numbers to make more than $3,300 in retail purchases. Police said the man briefly worked as a waiter at an Olive Garden restaurant where he allegedly took customers' credit card information and used it to make the purchases at an area store.
The man is currently behind bars on charges related to drunk driving and a parole violation. Police officers with the Bossier Financial Crimes Task Force tracked him down in Lincoln Parish jail and arrested him for the alleged credit card fraud.
"White-collar crimes" is an umbrella term to cover a wide variety of financial crimes, including types of identity theft and credit card fraud. Identity theft is a broad term for a kind of fraud involving the misuse of personal information. Credit card fraud is the unlawful use of a credit card to purchase goods or services with the intention of never actually paying for them. Cases involving credit card fraud can range from something as simple as a waiter using customers' card numbers to a sophisticated operation in which people fraudulently open new accounts in another person's name.
Identity theft charges may be handled by federal or state prosecutors, depending upon the circumstances of the case. Either way, the penalties can be severe. Victims of this kind of crime look very sympathetic to juries, and both prosecutors and the public tend to want to see the accused locked up for a very long time.
Source: WAFB, "Ex-waiter charged with stealing customer credit card info," Willard Woods, April 5, 2013.