When you think of being “charged out,” it’s likely you associate negative thoughts with the action.  For example, say you “charged out” or “maxed out” your credit card – you are likely in a bad situation.  A Michigan Live article provides a good example of being “charged out” in literal terms – referring to a fraudster with a plethora of charges.

A Flint, Mich., resident was recently convicted for food stamp fraud and gun charges.  Investigations led authorities to a local Flint market, where our fraudster and a cohort were found to have obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars, which were illegally redeemed through food stamps.  The two offered individuals $0.50 to the dollar for food stamps, manually entering Bridge Card (Michigan’s food stamp benefit card) numbers and PINs to transfer the benefits to a personal account for the market.  (It’s easy to make a profit when the other party is walking away with only half the card’s value.)

Court records provided a documented time frame for the scheme, pinpointing that 95 percent of the manually entered illegal transactions took place from June 2010 to June 2011.  (It must have been a busy market.)  The U.S. Department of Agriculture ran an analysis on the market in question, as well as surrounding markets, which revealed that the food stamp redemption average per month at the fraudster’s market was $26,789, while surrounding stores averaged $5,479.  (We are talking five times as much – this is a red flag!)  During the execution of a search warrant, officials discovered additional problems for the fraudster when they found a firearm in his home.  Charged with unlawful transport of a firearm and food stamp fraud, adding to previous convictions of two counts of bank robbery, this fraudster was sentenced to spend five years in federal prison and repay nearly $600,000 in restitution.  

This fraudster is literally “charged out” with the police.  Plus, his credit card may hit a maxed out level, as he pays off the restitution he owes.  Maybe jail will give him some time to re-charge!

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