Man Sentenced Up to Two Years for Credit Card Fraud

JEFFERSON CO., Pa. (EYT) – A man was sentenced to just under two years in jail after using another person’s credit card without permission.

According to court documents, 22-year-old John Michael Steele, of Freeport, was sentenced in the Jefferson County Court of Common Pleas to serve a maximum of two years less one-day confinement plus one day of probation.

Steele pleaded guilty on Wednesday, June 6, to one first-degree misdemeanor count of access device fraud.

One count of third-degree misdemeanor Theft by Unlawful Taking was dismissed as a result of the plea agreement.

Steele is lodged in the Jefferson County Jail.

Details of the case:

According to a criminal complaint, on February 18, a known individual reported to the Reynoldsville Borough Police that a man named John, who had been staying with him and his wife for a few days, had left their residence on February 17. The victim reported that he then received a call from his bank’s fraud department questioning a purchase to Uber for $62.38 and informing him that there were six other purchases that were declined.

On February 19, the victim reported that John had contacted his wife asking her to take his clothing to an address in Indiana. He reported that John said he wouldn’t be at the address but wanted his clothing left on the steps there.

Around 11:51 a.m. on February 24, Trooper Hari responded to a residence on Ohio Street where the victim’s wife had made arrangements via text messages for John to pick up his clothing.

When John arrived, Trooper Hari confronted him. John was identified by his Pennsylvania driver’s license as John Michael Steele. Steele also had the victim’s credit card, which he had previously taken.

According to the complaint, during a police interview, Steele stated he was homeless, and the victim gave him a place to stay for a couple of days. He said he didn’t feel comfortable staying, and the victim’s wife wouldn’t give him a ride because it was snowing. So, he took the victim’s credit card, without permission, and tried to get an Uber driver to take him to Indiana.

Steele said there was not an Uber driver available, so he contacted a friend to take him to Indiana.

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