Credit Card Fraud Earns Man 13 Years In Prison – No Fun Says Business Ethics Speaker Chuck Gallagher

December 23, 2007


Peter Porcelli II, age 55, will now get to serve 13 years (or almost one-fourth of his life thus far) in prison for credit card fraud. Wonder now if he feels that his ill gotten gains are worth it?

The Associated Press article printed in the International Herald Tribune is reprinted as follows:

A man accused of orchestrating a scheme to sell bogus credit cards was sentenced to 13 years in prison and must repay the nearly $12 million (€8.3 million) he scammed from tens of thousands of U.S. customers.

Peter Porcelli II, 55, who lives in Florida, pleaded guilty in May to all 19 conspiracy and fraud counts related to the telemarketing scheme. U.S. District Judge William Stiehl also ordered Monday that he spend five years on supervised release after his prison term.

Prosecutors alleged Porcelli offered consumers a MasterCard credit card for a fee ranging from $160 (€111) to $500 (€347). Those charged the fee were sent offers that usually were already available for free to the public, along with an “acceptance form” for what amounted to a prepaid card, which cost consumers an extra $15 (€10.41).

Authorities say Porcelli defrauded or tried to dupe at least 165,000 Americans, many with poor credit histories.

The U.S. government alleged that Porcelli carried out the scam through several Florida-based companies beginning in June 2001, using call centers in several states and outside the U.S.

Porcelli has been free on $1 million unsecured bond since shortly after his federal indictment in March.

“Obviously, we are pleased with the sentence,” said Randy Massey, the U.S. attorney who prosecuted Porcelli. “We hope it sends a message that this type of fraud perpetrated on our citizens will not be tolerated.”

Comments from an article from follow:

“Kathy Visceglie, a Pasco County woman who is the organizer of the homeowners group, said Monday that she was cheered by the stiff sentence handed Porcelli but unhappy that he gets to spend the holidays at home before reporting to prison.

Because Porcelli is recuperating from shoulder surgery, the judge said he could complete his rehabilitation and begin his sentence after 60 days.

“Mr. Porcelli didn’t have that kind of charity for the people whose homes he was taking last year,” said Visceglie. “The holidays for those who lost their homes were ruined.”

When Porcelli reports to prison he’ll have time to think about his formerly profitable business. He’ll be required to serve 85% of his 13 year sentence. By the time he gets out he’ll be at retirement age as a convicted felon. Likewise, his restitution of $11,886,317 will prove to provide their own financial burdens.

Every choice has a consequence.

I know from first hand experience the consequences of unethical choices.

If you have been a victim of credit card fraud – feel free to comment.

Business Ethics Speaker – Chuck Gallagher – signing off