Man Arrested by Pawtucket Police and charged in United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island, Providence, RI with Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud, Possession of Unauthorized Access Devices (ATM Skimming Device), Possession of Device Making Equipment (Materials Credit Card Fraud), Possession of Document Making Implement and Authentication Feature (Materials Credit Card Fraud), and Aggravated Identity Theft.
Pawtucket Police responded to a 911 call for a home invasion in progress. Upon arrival, police observed the suspects flee the residence on foot and pursued after them. Unfortunately, the suspects got away. However, upon further investigation of this incident, to include interviewing the victims and doing a walk-thru of their apartment, police stumbled upon evidence of a large ATM skimming and credit card fraud operation. Police successfully obtained a search warrant for the apartment based on their observations while investigating the home invasion. Execution of the warrant led to the discovery and seizure of computer equipment, ATM skimming devices, laminating machines used to create false identification documents, fraudulent credit cards, and raw materials to create fraudulent credit cards such as blank cards and signature strips. A search of the seized computers revealed more than 18,000 stolen credit and debit card numbers, believed to have been obtained with the ATM skimming devices. These discoveries led to an indictment of the apartment occupants on various charges related to bank and wire fraud. Specifically, the men were charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island with Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349; Possession of Unauthorized Access Devices (ATM Skimming Device) in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1029(a)(3) and (c)(1)(a)(i); Possession of Device Making Equipment (Materials Credit Card Fraud) in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1029(a)(4) and (c)(1)(a)(ii); Possession of Document Making Implement and Authentication Feature (Materials Credit Card Fraud) in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028(a)(5) and (b)(1)(C); and, Aggravated Identity Theft in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A. The alleged leader of this organization retained Rhode Island Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer, John L. Calcagni III, to defend him in this matter.
41 months. Attorney Calcagni’s first line of defense was to file a motion to suppress, challenging the search of the man’s apartment. Much to Attorney Calcagni’s disappointment, the Court denied the motion. His second line of defense was to negotiate a plea agreement for the client. The final agreement called for the man’s guilty plea to Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud and Possession of the Unauthorized Access Device charges, but dismissal of the remaining counts. This included dismissing Aggravated Identity Theft, which upon conviction, results in a mandatory consecutive jail sentence of two years. Attorney Calcagni then focused on sentencing preparation. The advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, based on 10 or more victims of fraud and an estimated financial loss in excess of $9,000.000, resulted in a sentencing range of 63 – 78 months, with a maximum potential sentence of 30 years. At sentencing, Attorney Calcagni successfully advocated for a sentence of 41 months, which fell considerably below the applicable guidelines range and the government’s recommendation of 70 months.