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Attorney for Credit Card Fraud in Nassau County

The theft, possession, or other unauthorized use of another person's credit card is a felony offense in New York often prosecuted aggressively in Nassau County, Long Island, NY. The unlawful possession of a credit card or debit card can frequently result in additional charges that increase the possible fines, jail time, and punishments an individual may face.

Additionally, it is important to understand that crimes involving multiple credit cards can result in multiple criminal counts. For example, if a person is stole or possessed five individual debit or credit cards, then that person faces five separate felony counts of possessing stolen property.

Depending on how the information or property was obtained, several different charges can be brought under New York Law including grand larceny, possession of stolen property, identity theft, and unlawful possession of personal identification information. 

If you are facing charges relating to credit card fraud in New York, you should speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Law Office of Stephanie Selloni helps clients fight credit and debit card fraud charges in Nassau County and Suffolk County on Long Island, and in all five boroughs of New York City.

Stephanie Selloni represents clients in Garden City, Syosset, Hempstead, and other locations in the greater Long Island area. She can review your case when you contact Law Office of Stephanie Selloni today. Call 516-972-1212 to set up a free consultation.


Information on Credit Card Fraud in Long Island


Definition of Credit Card Fraud in New York

A criminal charge for a stolen credit card can be classified as a Class A misdemeanor to a Class B felony under New York Penal Law § 165.40-65. You can face debit card or credit card fraud charges if you:

  • Altered the magnetic strip of a credit or debit card;
  • Altered another individual's debit or credit card;
  • Fraudulently accessed credit card information;
  • Fraudulently used a company credit card;
  • Made false statements on a credit card or debit card application;
  • Manufactured or distributed fraudulent credit or debit cards;
  • Misrepresented yourself as the individual named on a debit or credit card;
  • Obtained a credit card or debit card using another person's identity;
  • Obtained a fraudulent debit card or credit card via the U.S. mail;
  • Opened a new credit or debit card account using another individual's personal information;
  • Received money, goods, or other property through debit card or credit card fraud;
  • Stole credit card or debit card data;
  • Used a lost or stolen debit or credit card; or
  • Used someone’s debit card or credit card without their consent or knowledge.

Additional Criminal Charges in Conjunction with Credit Card Fraud

Whether you have been charged with grand larceny under New York Penal Law § 155.30-42 or criminal possession of stolen property under New York Penal Law § 165.40-65, you may face additional charges for such crimes as:

  • Criminal possession of a forged instrument (New York Penal Law § 170.20-30);
  • Forgery (New York Penal Law § 170.05-15);
  • Unlawful possession of personal identification information (New York Penal Law § 190.81-83); or
  • Unlawful use of credit card, debit card or public benefit card (New York Penal Law § 165.17).

Long Island Credit Card Fraud Penalties

A New York court can order you to pay substantial fines if you are convicted of credit card or debit card fraud. The maximum fine for a class A misdemeanor is $1,000, but the fine may be as much as double the amount you allegedly stole in felony cases.

Additionally, you may face lengthy incarceration penalties for the following convictions:

  • Class A Misdemeanor — Maximum of one year in jail, applies to -
    • § 165.40 Criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree;
    • § 190.81 Unlawful possession of personal identification information in the third degree;
    • § 170.05 Forgery in the third degree;
    • § 170.20 Criminal possession of a forged instrument in the third degree; and
    • § 165.17 Unlawful use of credit card, debit card or public benefit card.
  • Class E Felony — Maximum of four years in prison, applies to -
    • § 155.30 Grand larceny in the fourth degree;
    • § 165.45 Criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree; and
    • § 190.82 Unlawful possession of personal identification information in the second degree.
  • Class D Felony — Maximum of seven years in prison, applies to -
    • § 155.35 Grand larceny in the third degree;
    • § 165.50 Criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree;
    • § 190.83 Unlawful possession of personal identification information in the first degree;
    • § 170.10 Forgery in the second degree; and
    • § 170.25 Criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree.
  • Class C Felony — Maximum of 15 years in prison, applies to -
    • § 155.40 Grand larceny in the second degree;
    • § 165.52 Criminal possession of stolen property in the second degree;
    • § 170.15 Forgery in the first degree; and
    • § 170.30 Criminal possession of a forged instrument in the first degree.
  • Class B Felony — Maximum of 25 years in prison, applies to -
    • § 155.40 Grand larceny in the first degree; and
    • § 165.54 Criminal possession of stolen property in the first degree.

Defenses to Credit Card Fraud in Nassau County

While credit card and debit card fraud cases can be very complex, there are multiple defenses that may apply to your case and help get your charges significantly reduced or completely dismissed. Some debit and credit card fraud defenses include, but are not limited to:

  • You did not have the intent to defraud anyone;
  • You accidental possessed the credit or debit card, but had no intention of using it;
  • You were authorized to use the debit or credit card, or thought you had permissionl
  • You did not know the debit card or credit card was forged or stolen;
  • Duress was involved and you were coerced to perform a crime you otherwise would not have committed;
  • Mistaken identity, crime was committed by another person; or
  • Police misconduct, such as illegal search and seizure or other civil rights violations.

Types of Credit Card Charges under New York Law

Fraudulently obtaining or using information on a credit card or debit card is often prosecuted as Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree - Penal Law § 155.30. Credit card theft can generally be charged as “grand larceny in the fourth degree.”

A person is guilty of grand larceny in the fourth degree when he steals property and when...“4. The property consists of a credit card or debit card” (Penal Law § 155.30[4] ). Additionally, possession of the credit card after it is stolen can be charged under Penal Law § 165.45 for  “Criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree.”

A person is guilty of criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree when he knowingly possesses stolen property, with intent to benefit himself or a person other than an owner thereof or to impede the recovery by an owner thereof, and when:...“2. The property consists of a credit card, debit card or public benefit card” (Penal Law § 165.45[2] ).

Additionally, Penal Law § 155.00 provides definitions in the “larceny” statutes related to credit cards including: “7. ‘Credit card’ means any instrument or article defined as a credit card in section five hundred eleven of the general business law. Section 7—a. provides: “‘Debit card’ means any instrument or article defined as a debit card in section five hundred eleven of the general business law (Penal Law § 155.00[7], [7–a] ).”

Under the definitions in General Business Law § 511, the term ‘credit card’ “means and includes any credit card, credit plate, charge plate, courtesy card, or other identification **123 card or device issued by a person to another person which may be used to obtain a cash advance or a loan or credit or to purchase or lease property or services on the credit of the issuer or of the holder….”

Under subsection 9, the term ‘debit card’ means a card, plate or other similar device issued by a person to another person which may be used, without a personal identification number, code or similar identification number, code or similar identification, to purchase or lease property or services. The term does not include a credit card or a check, draft or similar instrument” (General Business Law § 511 [1], [9] ).

The larceny statutes speak only in terms of physical items which would include the debit or credit card itself and not intangibles such as accounts or account numbers associated with the card. The larceny statutory scheme also includes enhancements for property such as debit cards and credit cards. (Penal Law §§ 155.30[4], 165.45[2]).

The enhancement automatically changes the classification of certain larceny and possession crimes because of the difficulty in establishing a value for some types of property such as credit cards and debit cards. Otherwise, because the card itself has little to no valid, a valuation based solely on the replacement costs of the plastic card would results only in a misdemeanor classification.

Finding a Credit Card Fraud Lawyer in Long Island

It is extremely important for you to immediately contact a criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with debit card or credit card fraud. Under New York law, these charges can often be prosecuted as larceny, identity theft, scheme to defraud, unlawful possession of personal identification information, or possession of stolen property.

Law Office of Stephanie Selloni represents individuals facing theft and credit card fraud charges throughout Nassau County and surrounding areas, including Valley Stream, Massapequa, Glen Cove, and Floral Park. In addition to Nassau County, Stephanie Selloni also helps clients in Suffolk County and all five boroughs of New York City. Call 516-972-1212 right now to receive a free, confidential consultation to discuss your best defense.

Article updated on Tuesday, June 9, 2015.