TWO men, who used counterfeit credit cards to obtain £500 worth of gift vouchers in Worcester City Centre, have been handed community orders and unpaid work.
Bogdan Ciobanu, 29 and Mihaita Marinel, 27, both from Birmingham, pleaded guilty to five charges of fraud by false representation on Friday (December 4) at Worcester Magistrates Court.
The two men used the cards in River Island, Topshop, Burton and H&M on September 5.
Jackie Rogers, prosecuting, told the court in River Island the defendants got two gift cards worth £200, in TopShop they obtained one card worth £200 and another worth £100 and they then tried to get a £100 gift card from Burton but their credit cards were declined. They had used several.
The court heard they left the store and went to H&M to get a £200 gift card where their cards were declined again. Different cards were offered to the cashier which were also declined so they left the store.
“Staff at the store became suspicious, the police were alerted and they were arrested. The two men were found to be in possession of five counterfeit cards.
“They were examined and all of them were found to have details of real people who had made themselves aware to the banks, Tesco and Santander.”
The victims have since been compensated and Santander requested £200 compensation.
Defending Ciobanu, Mark Lister said: “The cards had not been used by anyone else, it was the first and last time.
“It is clear that not all the attempts were successful and the quality of the cards was not great.”
He added that, in an interview with police, Ciobanu had accepted he had done wrong and explained he had been given the cards a couple of days earlier and was told that he could use them.
“He didn’t have a job at the time, his wife and child have now joined him from Romania.”
Ciobanu and Marinel were both given 12-month community orders and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.
They were both also ordered to pay costs of £135, a victim surcharge of £60, court charges of £180 and £100 of compensation to Santander.