Baltimore Fraudster Sentenced to Three Years for Fourth Scam


One Baltimore man just can’t seem to shake his need to defraud his fellow citizens out of their hard-earned money and clean credit.

For the fourth time, Ronald Louis Coleman, 65, has been convicted of crimes related to scamming credit cards and posing as an American Express employee to get confidential information and funds.

On Dec. 13, U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis sentenced Coleman to 44 months in prison for his crimes.

According to a statement released by the FBI, “from March through Dec. 9, 2011, Coleman possessed a ‘skimmer’ device, which he provided to an employee of a popular Baltimore restaurant so that the employee could obtain the credit card numbers from patrons of the restaurant as they paid their bills.”

“The employee skimmed a number of cards each week, then turned the skimmer over to Coleman, who downloaded the information using a computer,” the agency said. “Coleman used the information to encode blank cards with the stolen credit card account number, then he and others used the cards to obtain cash at ATM machines and to purchase merchandise and services.”

In 2007, Coleman also stood before Garbis, charged with committing similar crimes against American Express.

According to a statement released Sept. 5, 2007, “Coleman was posing as an American Express employee to get information on accounts that were both closed and open. This operation ran from Sept. 2005 to June 2006.”

As a result of the 2007 scheme, the company estimates they lost between $120,000 and $200,000. At the time, Garbis gave Coleman a 41-month sentence and ordered him to pay $196,396.76 in restitution.

Coleman picked the same company, American Express, to scam out of “between $70,000 and $120,000” with three credit cards found in a Dec. 9, 2011 raid of his residence.

“Coleman caused American Express to remove holds placed on accounts, issue unauthorized credit cards and mail those credit cards to an address” that he supplied, according to statements about both the current charges and those in 2007.

Along with his prison sentence, Coleman will have to pay $102,314.54 in restitution.

The FBI has said while Coleman was using his skimmer device, 10 American Express accounts were affected.

The bust came as Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force cracked down on white-collar crime. The task force enters its fourth year of operation with more than 10,000 cases of financial fraud filed against 15,000 defendants, the Department of Justice said

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Baltimore Fraudster Sentenced to Three Years for Fourth Scam

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