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May 7, 2014

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Man given 8 years in prison for US$75,000 credit card swindle

A man who applied for 20 credit cards using identity card details he bought online has been sentenced to eight years in prison for fraud, the Pudong New Area People’s Court said yesterday.

His girlfriend-cum-accomplice was given a two-year sentence with a two-year reprieve for her part in the crime.

The man, surnamed Li, purchased the personal data and credit records of 18 people from an unknown source on the Internet.

He then passed the information on to his girlfriend, surnamed Fan, who created counterfeit ID cards and other personal documents, the court heard.

The pair then procured 18 credit cards from banks, which they used between November 2010 and January 2012 to pay for goods and services worth 466,000 yuan (US$74,800).

In April and May 2012, Li used the same modus operandi with unnamed accomplices to acquire two more credit cards, which he used to defraud 29,800 yuan, the court heard.

Police caught up with Li in October 2012, while Fan handed herself in two months later.

Li said in court that it was easy to get the credit cards as he never had to visit the banks in person, and the clerks never checked the documents he supplied.

In her defense, Fan said Li had cajoled her into making the fake ID cards, and even though he promised her half the proceeds from the crime, she felt uneasy about committing fraud.

She said she became so upset that she ran away and became a nun.

Fan said Li did give her 200,000 yuan, but ordered her not to spend any of it. So she gave the money to police when she handed herself in.

The court gave Fan a suspended sentence in view of the fact she handed herself in.

As well as the jail term, Li was fined 50,000 yuan.

Judge Shi Yaohui said banks should take greater care when issuing credit cards and ensure their staff are able to properly assess applications.


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