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June 09, 2011

  • News:  Credit Card Fraud; How Do They Do It? 110

    Some months ago we learned that the youngest daughter of Malcolm X had been accused of stealing the credit card data from the widow of one of her father's body guards. Malikah Shabazz pleaded guilty to the charges of defrauding Khaula Bakr out of more than $55,000 when she stole Bakr's identity and then opened up several credit card accounts in her name. Ms. Bakr became aware of the theft when Wells Fargo called her to discuss payment on the nearly $30,000 credit card balance on an account that she had never opened. Even though Bakr lives in Queens, New York, Shabazz had used her South Carolina address when opening the account. Prosecutors speculated that Shabazz moved to a remote farming town in North Carolina shortly before her arrest in order to escape being caught. She is due back in court next month for final sentencing, but it is speculated that she will be ordered to repay the $55,000 to the victimized banks and receive five years probation.

    A former employee of a southern Illinois Catholic and Communities Credit Union was convicted of credit card fraud. Stacy A. Mergelkamp stole over $38,000 by using fraudulent credit card cash withdrawals. Mergelkamp made several withdrawals over several months from her personal account and other members of her family. As the financial operations officer, she was able to alter accounting records which reimbursed her for more than the actual withdrawals. She has been convicted of theft, embezzlement, or misapplication by a credit union officer or employee and could receive up to 30 years in prison along with a $1 million fine.

    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and the Horry County Police Department's Property Crimes Section are asking residents and travelers to assist them in apprehending a credit card thief. A woman was seen on surveillance video using the stolen card at several gas stations in the area. The suspect allegedly stole the card out of a parked vehicle in Myrtle Beach. Over $250 in gas purchases were made with the stolen card.

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