Guilty Plea in Gift-Card Fraud

PITTSBURGH — One of the three men accused of using counterfeit credit cards to purchase gift cards at Giant Eagle [3] and Wal-Mart [4] stores pleaded guilty to federal charges here Wednesday, published reports said.

Ramar J. Gardner, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was indicted in February along with two accomplices for allegedly making counterfeit credit cards with stolen information to make $28,000 in purchases of gift cards at Giant Eagle and Wal-Mart stores in western Pennsylvania, then using the gift cards in 2010 to shop at retail stores throughout the same region.

The law provides a maximum sentence of up to 21 years in prison, a fine of $1.25 million or both for the defendants, U.S. prosecutors said.