Credit Card Fraud & ID Theft

Identify Theft & Financial Transaction Card Fraud

Online Fraud, Theft and Other Crimes Invovling the Internet

Computer related fraud and identity theft are as old as the internet itself. Crimes committed online cost banks, retailers and the government billions of dollars every year. As a response, some very aggressive laws have been written around crimes that originate or are furthered by using the internet. Because the internet is not contained to one state almost all online crimes have the potential to be charged federally. If you are charged with a federal crime the stakes are incredibly high and the prosecution is very aggressive.

Theft By Credit Card / Credit Card Fraud

Millions of credit card and debit card transactions happen every day, most taking only a second or two. As credit and debit transactions continue to replace cash, it makes sense that we are seeing more and more fraud and theft cases related to credit cards. There are multiple ways you can be charged with credit card fraud, a few example scenarios follow:

  • Credit card fraud by providing false information to a credit card company or bank. This may include saying your card was stolen when it wasn’t to take advantage of the “fraud protection” offered by many cards.
  • Gaining access to someone else’s credit card or debit card account online and using that account to make purchases or transfer funds
  • Finding a credit card that does not belong to you and attempting to use it for purchases or cash advances.

Consequences for Being Convicted of Financial Transaction Fraud

Like most theft related charges, the consequences are going to be determined by three variables:

  • The type of fraud or theft was committed
  • The total value of what was stolen
  • Any previous convictions of the accused
Total Value Fine Prison
Over $35,000 Up to $100,000 Up to 20 Years
$2,500 - $35,000 Up to $20,000 Up to 10 Years
$250 - $2,500 Up to $10,000 Up to 5 Years
Less than $250 Up to $3,000 Up to 1 Year


It should also be noted:

  • If the alleged offender has a previous conviction of any property related crime (theft, robbery, receiving stolen goods, forgery, burglary) they can face up to 5 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • These amounts for determining the total value of property stolen are aggregate numbers. That means you are charged with the TOTAL amount you have stolen, even if it happened over multiple occasions. If the accused had already stolen $240 worth of items, law enforcement can (and has been known to) wait until you have crossed the $250 value threshold, moving you from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Identity Theft

While it is technically a separate crime, identity theft and credit card fraud share a lot of elements and are frequently charged together. Identify theft penalties increase with the total loss for the victim as well as the total number of victims. Online identity theft schemes like fake websites and phishing emails can lead to identity theft charges even if you were never successful in stealing anyone’s identity; merely attempting to result in criminal charges.

Credit Card & Identity Theft Defense Lawyer in St. Paul

If you have been accused of or arrested for identity or credit card theft, it’s critical that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. These cases typically rely heavily around digital data as evidence. To fully assess (and counter, when possible) the evidence the prosecution holds against you takes time. Don’t put your case at a disadvantage by waiting another minute. Contact Mark D. Kelly Criminal Defense today for top-rated and reliable defense strategy and execution.

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