WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Friday, a man was sentenced to nine years in prison on charges of possession of unauthorized access devices, aggravated identity theft and possession of a gun in a school zone.
Twenty-nine-year-old Joel Chuma Uzodinma of Takoma Park, Md. was arrested on July 17, 2010 during a traffic stop. According to his plea agreement, a laptop computer and magnetic stripe reader/writer were found in his car. Uzodinma used the reader to re-encode credit cards with account information. The laptop reportedly contained 154 credit card numbers belonging to other people. There were also seven credit cards with Uzodinma's name but re-encoded with someone else's account information.
After a search warrant was executed on both the car and his apartment, police found 13 re-encoded credit cards stamped with his name (2 were originally encoded with someone else's name), a laptop with 94 more credit card numbers that didn't belong to Uzodinma and a loaded semi-automatic pistol, found less than 1,000 feet from a school in Hyattsville.
Authorities say the loss to the card holders and financial institutions is between $200,000 and $400,000 for the more than 250 unauthorized credit card numbers.