Bar-owning credit card scamster gets 14 months jail

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A Queenstown-based Brazilian involved in an audacious local credit card scam has been jailed for 14 months.
 
Marcelo Da Silva Araujo, 39, part-owner of a downtown bar and nightclub, last month pleaded guilty to six charges of using forged bank cards between June 1 and October 21 last year. 

The name of the bar can’t be revealed due to a permanent suppression order. 

Sentencing Araujo in Queenstown District Court today, judge Kevin Phillips says the offending had a wide impact on the business community, the banking community, the victims who were fleeced of cash and the community at large. 

Araujo took forged cards – created by a workmate who also obtained pin details from customers at the bar – and travelled to Dunedin to withdraw cash from several ATM machines. He also made other attempts to get money from ATMs in Frankton. All up he stole $4700.
 
Araujo’s lawyer Phena Byrne argued he wasn’t involved in the creation of the cards or the taking of pin details and said his good character references, early guilty plea, remorse and ability to pay reparation were mitigating factors. 

The other man involved in the crime has fled the country. 

Phillips told Araujo: “I do not consider your involvement here was minimal. You had ample opportunity to desist but you did not do so. 

“The victims were vulnerable and your actions were premeditated.”