CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A federal jury in Charlotte convicted Robert Nathaniel Johnson, III, 35, of Lancaster, South Carolina today for credit card fraud, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. presided over the trial.
Reginald A. DeMatteis, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Charlotte Field Office, joins U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.
According to filed court documents and evidence presented at trial, from September 29 to October 20, 2018, Johnson and his co-defendant, Charles Vincent Brown, used a stolen credit card number to create counterfeit credit cards, which they then used to purchase more than $250,000 of merchandise, including electronics, sneakers, clothing and gaming equipment. Trial evidence established that the defendants obtained the credit card of an individual identified as Victim #1, and re-encoded the stolen credit card number onto counterfeit credit cards bearing the defendants’ names and the names of other co-conspirators. According to evidence presented at trial, Johnson and others used the counterfeit credit cards at multiple retail stores, including at Best Buy, Foot Action, Foot Locker, and Neiman Marcus. Johnson specifically used the counterfeit credit cards to buy more than $10,000 in sneakers and apparel.
The jury convicted Johnson of conspiracy to commit access device fraud, which carries a maximum prison sentence of five years, and access device fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. A sentencing date for Johnson has not been set. On November 4, 2019, Brown pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit access device fraud and is currently awaiting sentencing.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray thanked the U.S. Secret Service for their investigation of this case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Caryn Finley and Stephanie Spaugh, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.