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August 24, 2010

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Woman indicted for mass credit card fraud

A WOMAN who maintained her company by means of malicious overdraft is now awaiting sentencing for credit card fraud.

The woman, surnamed Su, applied for more than 10 credit cards from 12 banks in Shanghai, and withdrew over 430,000 yuan (US$63,225). She was unable to pay back the money, the Jing'an District Prosecutors' Office said yesterday.

Su, from Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, was in charge of finance affairs in her husband Chen's paper trade company. In 2007, the company was in dire straits due to lack of capital, which gave Su the idea of credit cards.

From September to December 2008, Su applied for credit cards from banks such as China Minsheng Bank and China CITIC Bank, using a real estate certificate and a high-salary certificate issued by Chen's company, the prosecutors' office said.

Su admitted she withdrew large amounts of cash from each bank to maintain the company's operations as well as run her daily life. At first, she managed to pay off one bank's bill using cash drawn from another bank.

But this high-risk gamble didn't last long. After Chen's company closed down last year, she could no longer pay back the bank debts.

So, Su tried to evade all phone calls, letters, e-mails and bank officials' visits, assuming, wrongly, that the banks would never find her if she just stayed hidden. The banks called in the police last April, and the woman was caught within a month. She's been indicted on credit card fraud charges, the prosecutors' office said.

Prosecutors said people who don't pay back their credit card dues within three months after the bank has notifies them twice about the payment are liable to be charged with credit card fraud.

Liu Chunquan, a lawyer with Guangsheng & Partners Attorney at Law, said that Su will likely be sentenced of five to 10 years in jail, and fined between 50,000 to 500,000 yuan.


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