PC 484(i) – Counterfeiting Credit Cards

PC 484i - Counterfeiting Credit Cards

Counterfeiting Credit Cards – Table of Contents

PC 484(i) – Overview

What are Counterfeiting Credit Cards as defined under California Penal Code 484(i)?

Any person with an incomplete access card, or credit card with the intent to complete it for activation or use with out authorization of the registered issuer; Any person with who manufactures, alters, varies, or changes an access card, or credit card account information on any part of the surface, including the magnetic stripe, or reflective security surfaces, or takes part in authorizing acts of another to do the same in order for the card’s use for presentment, payment or billing; Any person who buy themselves or with the help of others imports or exports access card or credit card making equipment, or participates in the equipment development for purchase, lease, borrow or resale knowing the equipment is being used for making access cards and or credit cards .

PC 484(i) – Prosecuting

What is forgery as defined under California Penal Code 484(i)?

Forgery is the physical altering or intentional misrepresentation of a subject matter or physical item at issue for which the subject matter or physical item is of significance to another who relies on its apparent veracity to make a subsequent decision or act, but then relies on the misrepresentation of fact of its apparent veracity to their detriment.

What is an access card or credit card as defined under California Penal Code 484(i)?

An access card is any card, plate, code key, account number setting, or any means of account access that can be used by itself or with another form access card to obtain money, goods, services or anything of consideration or value without the use of presenting a paper document.

What is a cardholder as defined under California Penal Code 484(i)?

A cardholder is a person who has been provided an access card by a card issuer or has been provided an access card by a card issuer to pay debts which derived from the use of the access card.

What is a card issuer as defined under California Penal Code 484(i)?

A card issuer is the company that arranges for the access card to be registered to a cardholder; or is an originally registered party to whom the access card was registered to who designates the access card’s use to another for a designated purpose; or is an agent of the company or registered party.

Is California Penal Code 484(i) a specific intent crime?

Yes. The person or company in reference to the violation must have acquired the intent to defraud prior to the completion of the conduct. The intent to defraud is the intent to deceive another person or company to cause a loss of: money, good, services, a legal right, financial right, property right, or loss of genuine perceived value.

What is the definition of defrauding under California Penal Code 484(i)?

Fraud is an intentional misrepresentation of a fact for gain at the misfortune of another targeted or in receipt of the information who must rely on the misrepresentation.

Can a business entity (501-3c or LLC, LP, S Corp) be charged with a violation of California Penal Code 484(i)?

Yes.

PC 484(i) – Sentencing

What are the penalties for a violation of California Penal Code 484(i)?

A violation of California Penal Code 484(i) can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony dependent on the circumstances. If the act, as described in Penal Code 484(i) (a) relates to a history of numeration within a 6-month period of cards who have had placement funds on them not exceeding $950 the act is charged as a misdemeanor; if the act in reference exceeds $950 dollars it is charged as a felony. If the act, as described in Penal Code 484(i) (b) does so relating to a history of numerating within a 6-month period of cards who have had placement funds on them not exceeding $950 the act is charged as a misdemeanor; if the act in reference exceeds $950 it is charged as a felony.

The exposure of confinement for a violation of California Penal Code 484(i) as a misdemeanor is no more than 1 year in State Jail. The exposure of confinement as felony ranges 16 months, 2 years or 3 years in State Prison, unless 1 year of jail time or alternative punishment can be negotiated prior to preliminary hearing and preferably during pretrial

Since this is a financial crime restitution might be required.

What is an example of a violation of California Penal Code 484(i)?

  1. Casey was an MBA intern, and SMU undergraduate, working for Goldman Sachs in its Summer 2023 Analyst Program in Los Angeles. She was hired for its Asset Back Finance Group selling swaps for its credit departments on the trading desk. She was a 4.0 student, but very attractive, but more importantly ferocious in making sure she retained one of the coveted jobs in the nation in its LA office. While working one of Goldman’s Personal Bankers, Peneus, he asked her to attend a client engagement dinner with him this Friday at The Lab, an LA DJ Lounge which promoted some of the world’s best renowned EDM DJs but was also a sight seeing event for A- List clients. Casey accepted the work and invitation. At The Lab, Casey met Big Charlie Bronson (AKA Tim Pasha), an EDM DJ who had connections to the Palto Alto Ventura Capital community. They got along great. She pitched him concerning Goldman products and he was interested. But he told her, “In exchange for my fraternity list of brothers in venture capital, I need you to take these cards to this address”. This conversation took place outside the presence of Peneus. Pressured on the line of success, she agreed. Tim Pasha gave her the bag and was about to get up to conduct his gig on the turntables. Before he was about to get on stage, Casey asked “Timmy” for the nature of the cards. He told her, “You tell me, you asked me to give you a bag of unprocessed credit cards totaling $10,000 and an address to send them to for completion, so here you go eager beaver”. He left her on the zebra love seat adorned his fans with a classic set. Casey reunited with Peneus for business and she passed his expectations. Peneus left early to get back to his wife and kids. She stayed. After the DJ sets, she took the cards to the address. She was paid $20,000 in cryptocurrency that was debited to her crypto currency account in minutes. Little did she know that she was being watched at the club by several LAPD investigators due to the known “High Profile nature of “Timmy” as a computer dealing in the digital world. That next week Casey, at work, was accosted by the LAPD Computer Crimes Unit. They asked her to accompany them downtown for questioning. The cards she sold were found on a group of West Hills Trust Fund kids, who attempted purchase several gift cards in several retail outlets totaling $50,000. The investigators were tipped off by an unknown source, which enabled them to research her blockchain transactions. Casey was arrested and charged. She was released from the analyst program.

PC 484(i) – Defending

What are the defenses for a violation of California Penal Code 484(i)?

  1. Lack of Identity.
  2. Lack of the Specific Intent to Defraud.
  3. Duress.
  4. Renunciation of any conspiration or criminal act.
  5. No proof of criminal association or conspiring association attached to the crime.
  6. Lack of possessions.
  7. Diminished Capacity.

PC 484(i) – Hire a Lawyer

If you are charged with a violation of California Penal Code 484(i), call The Esfandi Law Group, APLC. We will provide a you a free consultation.

Call Us for a FREE Case Review: 310-274-6529

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Lara S.
June 4, 2018
5
Seppi had my case reduced to just an infraction, and thanks to him I was able to keep my job. Jorge was extremely helpful too, the reason I went with this law firm. Overall pleased.

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