Tuesday, December 01, 2009

U.S. v. Truong, No. 08-10446 (12-1-09). Just in time for the holiday gift-giving season, the 9th holds that stolen retail gift cards can be considered an "access device" under 1029(e)(1) because it gives access to an account. The defendant here stole gift cards, duplicated them, and then replaced them back on the store's shelves, but he kept the PINs so that he could subsequently access the accounts when the cards were activated. The 9th (per curiam with B. Fletcher, Canby and Graeber) concluded that it was not necessary for an account to have personal information for it to fall under the access device definition. The sentence of 10 years was also not unreasonable given the defendant's history of fraud involving access devices, the car chase that came close to killing a motorist, and a low "loss calculation" because the probation officer could not locate many of the gift card holders.


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