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Credit Card Schemer of $450,000 Gets 17 Years in the Big House

A Georgia man with nine felony convictions is on his way to prison again after pleading guilty to stealing money from businesses by convincing credit card companies that he owned them. Joseph Brown, 36, was sentenced to 30 years with 17 to serve in prison for theft by taking, computer theft and identity fraud.

Between April 2014 and November 2015, Brown stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from 15 victims, including plastic surgeons, doctors and restaurant owners, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said. “When someone swipes their credit card at a business, the transaction is handled by a credit card processing company,” Howard said.

“For more than a year and a half, Brown called a local credit card processing company 345 times to gather pieces of information about customer accounts managed by the credit card processing company.” Eventually, Brown had enough information about more than a dozen accounts to authenticate himself as the owner of the businesses, and convinced the credit card processor to divert funds from those accounts into multiple fraudulent bank accounts, Howard said.

Over the span of a year and a half, Brown stole more than $1.1 million from multiple businesses; however, some of those transactions were reversed because of inquiries from the actual business owners, Howard said. Investigators said Brown made off with more than $450,000.   [Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution]

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