Lately we’ve been handling a lot of grand theft and credit card fraud cases. As you may or may not know, grand theft is any theft over $300. It can be a 3rd degree felony (5 years) if it’s under $5000, but if the theft is over $5000 it can be a second or first degree felony. (except for grand theft auto – the law gets confusing from here so call us if you have questions)I feel badly for the people because they are committing crimes with serious penalties, just to get by. Most of our clients charged with grand theft have no prior criminal record. The crimes are committed in an unsophisticated manner and are really easy to detect.
Take this woman who the police say used a stolen credit card to bond her husband out of jail. According to the St. Petersburg Times, the woman used a stolen credit card and paid $900 to a bondsman to get her husband out of jail in back in July. She said she had permission to use the card. Interestingly, since I deal with this so much, she may have had permission to use the card back in July, but now the victim is saying she never gave her permission. This is more common than anyone would believe.
It will be interesting to see who signed the credit card receipt. All the bail bondsmen I know require the owner of the credit card, if it’s different from the person who comes in to sign the bond, to sign a separate form giving the person authorization to use their credit card. They specifically do this so that the owner of the card doesn’t try to say it was fraudulently used once they see the bill and/or have a falling out with the person. I would be interested to see where this form is. If there is one, there is a real good chance she’s not guilty.
The bad news for Mrs. Riceis that she’s the one now sitting in jail with a bond of $2000 on her new charge of fraudulent use of a credit card. Wonder if her husband will try to bond her out?