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Woman steals credit card to pay her lawyer

By , CardRatings contributor
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OK, so you're going to court to defend yourself against being in possession of some drug or medication that you shouldn't have had, and you have a lawyer. How do you pay for that lawyer?

According to The Kingwood Observer, a paper for Kingwood, Texas, a suburb of Houston, Gloria Elizabeth Berglund, 21, allegedly took her mother's credit card to pay for the attorney.

Seems her mother wasn't too pleased with this, however. She realized her credit card was missing, called the credit card company, learned about a $250 charge to a Houston law firm and wound up filing a complaint against her daughter.

So now Berglund has a mother who is very angry at her, and she's not just looking at a court date for being in possession of a controlled substance, she also is being charged with felony credit card abuse. Which means she will need a lawyer for that case, too, which means she will need to pay for it somehow. I'm thinking if her father or any siblings are in the picture, they may want to hide their wallets and handbags.

Tragic consequence for married couple with a credit card

According to The Kansas City Star, Charleatha Nevins, 28 years old, shot her newlywed husband, Eric Nevins in the streets of Kansas City, Mo. Apparently, during an argument, he hit her, and they wound up fighting over a gun that they had in their car, and, well, now, he's dead, and she's been charged with second-degree murder.

And how did their fight start? Because they were arguing over the use of a credit card.

Exactly what the problem was hasn't been reported, but again, whether it was maxed out, or one of them hadn't paid a bill on time, and granted, they probably had some anger management issues, and I'm wondering if they really needed that gun in the car… but I think we can all agree that there is no credit card problem worth getting that angry over.

A great deal, if you really like shower caps

I wouldn't recommend falling for a scam, but I guess in this case, if you really like some obscure items like shower caps, it might be worth trying to track down the people who run Marquee Marketing LLC in Henderson, Nev., and Apogee One Enterprises LLC in Philadelphia, who have been allegedly scamming consumers in Philadelphia and Jenkintown, Pa.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, these companies would call prospective customers and offer them fake credit cards under names like Platinum Trust Card and Express Platinum Card.

Of course, saying that these were "fake" makes them sound like the customers didn't get a credit card at all, or they received one that didn't work at all. That's not quite the case.

The customers did receive these thin plastic cards that looked real. But from there, this story just gets really sad.

You had to pay $69 to $99 to get it and then be willing to pay a recurring monthly fee of $19 for the credit card. That may sound like ridiculous terms for a card that's nothing like a rewards credit card, but these were aimed at folks who had recently taken out payday loans. Clearly, these telemarketers felt that there might be people desperate enough to pay $19 a month for a credit card, and there were.

But the initial fee and monthly fee are nothing compared to the problems customers had when actually trying to use the card. These cards could only be used at 10 online stores. As the Federal Trade Commission said in a report, these stores only had "a seemingly random assortment of off-brand, overpriced, and downright bizarre products, most of which are sold only in comically large quantities." For example, as the Inquirer, reported, some of the items that you could buy were a case of 432 shower caps for $430.56 or a case of 144 "play flutes" for $573.12.

Even worse, as the FTC's report states, "consumers cannot use the Cards to finance the entire purchase of items from Defendants' shopping website, but must instead use another form of payment to cover up to 51 percent of the purchase price."

But, hey, again, for the one or two people in the world who have been wanting to spend an exorbitant amount on a case of 432 shower caps or some toy flutes, this could be a great deal.

Like taking candy from a 98-year-old

Caregivers stealing from the elderly isn't anything new. Unfortunately, it's hardly even news. But the numbers in this crime are startling, and for that alone, it's worth bringing up.

Alleged con artist James Thompson, 42, of Louisville, Ky., managed to become friends with a 98-year-old resident living in a nursing home, and after becoming her friend, he was able to get permission to run her financial affairs and obtain power of attorney for her.

He then was apparently able to get a debit card in her name, and as you can guess, caused a lot of grief for her. The Louisville press initially reported Thompson as accessing a credit card in the woman's name. If only.

If Thompson had taken out a credit card in her name and, say, spent $150,000 on goods, services or cash advances in her name, even with his power of attorney privileges, the 98-year-old victim might have had a chance to get her money back. It's always easier from a legal standpoint to collect money stolen via a credit card than a debit card. But because a debit card was the weapon of choice to rob her blind, she is now virtually penniless, a police detective told Louisville's WLKY.

As I mentioned, the numbers are startling. Thompson allegedly used the debit card to take $150,000 out of this woman's account, and he used this debit card approximately 1,600 times.

Think about that. One thousand, six hundred times. I kind of feel sorry for the public defender. There goes the "Your Honor, this was just a one-time random, impulse crime" defense.

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