A career criminal with a rap sheet spanning nearly four decades will spend more time behind bars after being sentenced for a fraud scheme that swindled dozens out of nearly $150,000, federal prosecutors announced.
Steven Finkler, also known as Andrew Finkler, last known to reside in New Haven, has been sentenced to 96 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, after pleading guilty to credit card fraud and identity theft offenses last year.
Specifically, Finkler, age 56, pleaded guilty to one count of access device fraud (credit card fraud), one count of wire fraud, and two counts of aggravated identity theft in January last year.
U.S. Attorney John Durham said that in August 2017, Finkler stole credit cards from two of his employer’s customers and used the cards to make more than 40 fraudulent charges in Connecticut and New York.
The charges included purchases of jewelry for Finkler's girlfriend, Apple products, electronic devices, and other high-end items for himself and his friends.
Durham said that the total loss to the victims was $20,867.73.
The following year, in September 2018, Finkler, using a different identity, opened a membership at a fitness center with gym locations throughout Connecticut, Durham said. Finkler also used that same stolen identity to create accounts with mobile device payment applications.
Between September 2018 and May 2019, Finkler visited several gym locations and stole credit cards from lockers and other locations while the victims were located elsewhere in the gym.
Using the stolen credit cards, and the mobile device payment applications, he made approximately $144,000 in fictitious charges to bank accounts that he created and controlled. He then returned the credit cards to the victims’ wallets before the victims returned to the locker room.
According to Durham, approximately 50 people were victimized through that scheme.
As part of his sentence, Finkler was also ordered to pay $145,657.06 in restitution to his victims.
Durham noted that Finkler has a criminal history that spans nearly 40 years and includes numerous convictions, including five prior federal convictions stemming from various fraud schemes.
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