Can I be convicted for using $200.00 of a stolen gift card if I “ONLY” used $50.00?

Q: In my previous job I worked at, four gift cards for $50.00 a piece were stolen=$200.00. I used one of the stolen gift cards for $50.00 and two other people related to me used the remaining three gift cards ($150.00) but they were not charged. Am I only accountable for the $50.00 I used or can I still be convicted for the whole $200.00 even though I only used $50.00? Also, they have blurry surveillance cameras that “it looks like me” and they used cellphone towers to say I was in the area.

A: I would need more details, but if you stole the four gift cards you are criminally liable for four gift cards, whether you only used one, or even none. I would find yourself a lawyer and not talk about this case anyone other than your lawyer.

Pittsburgh taxi driver fraudulently signed my name on a charge

Q: I took a taxi from the Pittsburgh airport to my house, which ended up being an hour long ride. As a frequent traveler for work, I knew that landing at 4:30 p.m. meant I’d be sitting in traffic. I ended up taking a Veterans Taxi. The driver recklessly weaved in and out of lanes – going into the emergency lane even to pass cars. When we got to my house, I went to pay with my credit card on the machine in the van. The driver took my card and I thought maybe the machine is broken and that he’d run the card in the front. He didn’t offer any explanation. I should have questioned it, but didn’t think much. I asked for a receipt, which was printed from the car. The driver wrote in the tip by hand on the receipt, which seemed sketchy. I found later that day that the receipt amount didn’t match what I was charged since I noticed the square receipt in my email. I also noticed a scribble in the signature line. I contacted the taxi company and the taxi upset that there not only was a discrepancy but the driver signed my signature. There is apparently video surveillance in the van but the manager/owner has now taken the driver’s side without even pulling this footage. What can I do? This is fraud.

A:  The beauty of using credit cards is that most have a dispute resolution process whereby you just report to them in writing of a disputed charge and they hold payment and investigate it. So, report this either via phone or on your credit card company website and fill out and submit the necessary forms. If you want to go even further, you can contact the county police (I believe they have jurisdiction over the airport) or your local police in the town where the taxi ride ended (may have jurisdiction as well as that is where the transaction was signed) and see if they are interested in filing a theft, access device or forgery charges. My thought is that your credit card company will work it out with the cab company.