The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania has announced the filing of federal charges against a man whom police apprehended on Interstate 81. The 50-year-old man will face charges of federal fraud and identity theft. The charges come after troopers stopped to assist the man when his vehicle became disabled on I-81 in Butler Township.
The troopers assert that they noticed a disabled vehicle on the roadway, then saw the man walking back to the car after having walked to a gas station. There is no information provided to explain why the officers searched the vehicle, but they allegedly discovered 25 fake debit/credit cards. In addition, the search is said to have uncovered five counterfeit $100 bills and a memory stick that contained a document listing 21 different debit/credit accounts.
Following the man's arrest, search warrants were obtained for two residences in different states. Additional evidence to suggest identity theft and fraud was discovered in the resulting searches, including an embossing machine used to manufacture fake cards. There was a second man in the car who was also arrested, but it is not known if he, too, will face federal charges in the case.
The case was initially investigated by the Pennsylvania State Police and the U.S. Secret Service, and was eventually handed over to an Assistant U.S. Attorney's Office for prosecution. The federal charges include access device fraud as well as aggravated identity theft. A plea agreement was filed, and is being reviewed by the court. A conviction on these offenses could result in a sentence of 12 years in federal prison, as well as a period of supervised release and a fine in the amount of $500,000.
Source: standardspeaker.com, "Man caught on I-81 facing federal fraud, identity theft charges", March 24, 2015