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back to article Dentist cuffed for using lost credit card to pay for pizza

A millionaire has been busted after allegedly buying pizza with credit card he found on the street. Richard Lewis Ludwig, 54, a dentist from Okemos, Michigan, faces credit card theft and forgery charges after allegedly using a student's credit card to pay for fast food while on a trip to Florida. The card belonged to Harrun …

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Silver badge

Probably a silly question but....

how did he get the PIN?

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Are PINs used in the USA yet?

I've got a feeling they're not terribly widespread, even if they are.

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online ordering

If you order online, or even over the phone you only need quote the numbers..... the shortfall of chip and pin

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Anonymous Coward

RE: online ordering

Which is why you also have to give the address that matches the card holder during the payment of. Though still not exactly a robust security measure!

The real question really is why on earth did a millionaire with wads of cash in his pocket do that!?!

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FAIL

PIN?

What pin?

no pin for a credit card, and most debit cards can be used as credit cards. Add to this the fact that most places don't check signature, and you can do a lot of damage with a found card.

Fail for Visa/MasterCard/Whatever that don't implement something suitably more secure, and Fail for the retailer that just blindly accepts that card possesion is the same as card ownership

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Pirate

Re: Why A Rich Dude Would Do That

A lot of "rich" people are sociopathic narcissists who have a dog eat dog attitude towards other people. It is not just about how much money they can amass but also about where they get it from and at who's expense.

It doesn't matter how much money they have in their pocket, the fact that they are getting a freebie gets them off so to speak.

That the person who owns the card may in fact be quite poor and not able to afford to fund their narcissistic impulse purchase would not even have crossed this arseholes mind.

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Anonymous Coward

Address?

"Which is why you also have to give the address that matches the card holder during the payment of. Though still not exactly a robust security measure!"

It's amazing how many companies don't bother with these simple checks in the UK. Outside the UK it's the exception rather than the norm to check addresses. It's how most card fraud happens these days. It's happened to me twice. On both occasions my card issuer told me that the website which had been used didn't even ask for the three digit security code let alone the address.

When I asked why they allowed websites to do this I was told that it wasn't up to them, but the company they website used to do the card authorizations. The next simple question was why do business with the card authorization companies that don't play by the rules. To which I got the confusing answer that customers complain when they can't do business with companies in foreign countries. So the banks ruling is basically that they will deal with any dodgy outfit because it's easier and cheaper to deal with the resulting frauds than it is to deal with the lost business.

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FAIL

Eat The Rich

That's all they're good for (majority of them, anyway).

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WTF?

Shocked

I'm absolutely shocked by this story. The fact he decided to do this is mildly shocking, the fact that the bank actually cared enough to tell the police about the transaction and the police actually cared enough to respond promptly and arrest the person, it's unbelievable.

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Grenade

That's US cops for you

In this country the student would be made to pay for the fraud and taken to court if he contested the transaction.

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Bronze badge

Clearly you've never been to Okemos

Meridian Township, the municipality that includes Okemos (really just a neighborhood with its own post office), is a pretty slow place, when the students from Michigan State aren't rioting. Probably the police had nothing more interesting going on that evening.

It's entertaining to see a town I regularly visit appear in El Reg, though. Good show. And for the record, none of the Okemos millionaires I personally know have ever, to my knowledge, used a stolen credit card. One bad apple...

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Serves him right

Olives in a pizza are disgusting. =/

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Happy

Olives on a pizza are frickin' essential.

I politely disagree, see title.

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Troll

Meh

Only thing worse than olives are olive fanboys.

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Anonymous Coward

the real crime

Is that two pizza's cost over $40.

Mon dieu.

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Anonymous Coward

They were LARGE pizzas

This is in Merkinland - they probably crossed over the state boundary !

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Anonymous Coward

Imagine if the college kid had taken $40 from the dentist

He'd never stop bitching about it. He would literally take his resentment to the grave with him. At Christmas every year he would sit around a table with his wealthy family and say "you know this bastard once stole $40 from me blah blah blah" while his family say stupid things like "hanging is too good for him".

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FAIL

Title here

With a name like Harrun Majeed probably a trip to Guantanamo was more suitable.

What a greedy moron, good they got him!

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Coat

Re: Imagine.....

Whereas this is far simpler: He's a dentist, therefore hanging's too good for him.

No need for resentment, graves, Christmases or families there at all. Even the actual theft is of no consequence.

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Megaphone

Agreed

Seems that most people think that criminals aren't like them. Some people on my street were once basically drag racing a nice new sports car one of them had bought - the owner taking one yuppie mate at a time out for a spin to impress them. As I approached to tell them that I'd called the police I heard one saying ecstatically that on his run they'd got up to twice the speed limit in our, perfectly normal, residential road.

When I put it to them that they were frankly insane to be doing this and were all parties to a serious criminal act they look at me like I was the one who was mad. When I told them that the police were on the way, they verged on an angry mob. Even when I pointed out that if a kid stepped off the curb at the wrong time, all their lives would be ruined, they didn't seem to get it. Their mindset was obviously that criminals weren't people like them and therefore what they were doing could not be criminal.

Of course the police didn't show up, but that's not the point.

So I hope that this was a sobering event for the git lawyer and his family and friends berate him as much as they would've if the tables had been turned and the student was the perpetrator.

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errr...

Harrun Majeed was the student, not the millionaire. Well done on the appropriate icon tho.

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Anonymous Coward

@bolccg

"When I put it to them that they were frankly insane to be doing this and were all parties to a serious criminal act they look at me like I was the one who was mad."

Speeding a "serious criminal act"? What do you read then the Mail or the Express?

I don't think any reasonable list of serious crimes could be said to include recreational speeding.

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Davenport Pizza!

If it's anything like the pizza place i used in Davenport, then i am not surprised he didnt want to pay with his own money. They took 90 minutes to deliver my pie and were upset i didnt tip them.

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Anonymous Coward

why?

he could be a good dentist which is wealth would seem to indicate.

even prisoners are taught skills to let them earn an honest living once they come out of jail, why take away a man's ability to make an honest living?

that's just plain wrong, plus the fact that there was an element of "IT" in a credit card transaction earn you a big fat FAIL!!

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Pint

Well

Prisons need dentists too.

Who says he can't just take the skills he has and applies them to prison life?

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Big Brother

No, not the BDA

they're our trade union (sorry, professional society). It's the General Dental Council who do the regulation.

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Lemming

Surely the BDA does some regulation? Otherwise how do you explain Lemming of the BDA?

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Ah!

"the real crime #

Posted Wednesday 9th March 2011 14:03 GMT

Is that two pizza's cost over $40.

Mon dieu."

Indeed it is a crime that they cost that much, perhaps that was the reason why he used a card he had found - free pizza always tastes better!

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Bronze badge

They are rich for a reason

cf title

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Megaphone

Chances are he's innocent. Seriously.

The one thing missing from this story really is the compliancy of the police and/or media in spreading what is probably a horrible misunderstanding as an act of theft.

I love how the lions share of the commentators assume his guilt before anything else. Like one of the people on the papers forums I wonder if the following explanation is perhaps more likely:

- found credit card. didn't immediately go to police to turn it in as most people wouldn't do as they have other stuff.

- went to buy pizza

- handed over wrong card, hence he signed HIS OWN NAME

- got busted

- oops

No doubt he will be released, bailed, pay the dude his cash back plus court fees, apologise profusely for the genuine mistake and be let off.

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JC_

Signature

You say the dentist signed his own name? That'd be interesting, but where is it stated?

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Innocent?

Well, perhaps if you assume the report in the link is a lie.

If you go by the linked report, however, which is all we can go on (unless you have insider information). Then you will have seen this:

"They said Ludwig admitted to finding Majeed's credit card in the parking lot, ordering two large pizzas with extra olives and using Majeed's card to pay the $40.64 bill."

You would also have noted that he is being charged with Forgery, amongst other things. If he signed his own name, why would it be forgery?

Do you have any more information than is in the report Listen 2 Me?

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This post has been deleted by its author

Stop

@Innocent

OK, let's look at it another way:

-Found the card, but didn't go straight to the Police. Instead he:

- Put it in his wallet, next to his own credit cards

- Didn't even recognise it when he took it out to pay

- Didn't think to hand it in to the pizza parlour saying 'Hey, I just found this card outside'

- Didn't get challenged by pizza staff when noticing the signatures are different*

Hmm... This man is not unintelligent. He's had to pass a number of difficult exams to practice as a dentist and be good enough to be worth over $3m. I can't believe he'd be that absent-minded. Assuming he did visit a pizza shop, as opposed to calling in from home or his mobile, he'd still be aware that the card number he was reading out would be unfamiliar - I'm not clever enough to be a dentist, but I have an idea of what my card details are to a degree. And, if I had $250 cash on me, I'd not pay credit card charges for a $40 pizza.

Nope, I think this bloke knew what he was doing and it's just plain wrong!

*I admit a lot of counter staff may not care what the signature is, but it seems unfair to blame them in this case.

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Impersonation?

"-handed over wrong card, hence he signed HIS OWN NAME"

No, it doesn't sound like that's the case. According to the original story , as well as theft he's also being charged with forgery, impersonating and attempting to use the ID of another person without consent.

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Stop

Man on the moon?

He may (MAY) be innocent. Answering your questions:

1) Yes, next to his own cards. Why not? This is the right place!

2) Do you closely inspect your credit cards, when getting one to pay? I have one Visa and one Mastercard - and I look to them long enough to tell wich one I'm getting. Put another one (same or similar color/design) next to it and I would probably get the wrong one.

3) Yes, he should have done it. But, I don't know. Was thinking of take it to the police? Was talking on his mobile with someone, and forgot about it?

4) Most of the time, for petty values, the signature isn't checked at all. I know it for a fact. It's quite common for the employee to give me my card back BEFORE I sign the bill. There's this beatifull link: "http://www.zug.com/pranks/credit/".

And, yes. He may be in the wrong here. No doubt about it. But I would like to have more data before making such assumption. i know I could have done it - with no inttention at all.

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FAIL

another reading fail

Did you miss the part where he admitted what he'd done?

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Megaphone

US rules for credit cards are different.....

First, there is no chip and pin in the US - only a signature. Second, in the US, normally there are no charges to use a credit card, if you pay in full each month. In addition, many cards give you back as cash 1% or more of everything you charge. Yes, in the US you can make money by simply using your credit card and avoiding the hassle of using cash, that it is why they are so widely used :). More, you get free money for 28+ days, if you pay in full each month.

/<RANT ON> I tried to get a credit card with a chip to use in Europe from my banks here in the US and I got blank stares - no such thing available in the US (I have accounts with 4 out of the top 10 US banks). European "credit cards" are a joke in my experience - they want a transaction fee FROM ME (in addition to what they charge the merchant), and most take money out of an existing account (that is a DEBIT, not CREDIT card). In addition, they force you to use a PIN they generate - no way to select your own pin. Total monthly charges includes account maintenance and other fees which I have never seen here, in the US. I also found that my US credit cards could not be used in a quite a few small shops in France - they were looking for a card with a chip, and simply did not know what to do with a card without a chip. Bigger shops could handle it, no issues, but not the smaller ones, with less tourist traffic. <RANT OFF>/

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SJB
Stop

US rules for credit cards are mostly the same.

"European "credit cards" are a joke in my experience - they want a transaction fee FROM ME (in addition to what they charge the merchant), and most take money out of an existing account (that is a DEBIT, not CREDIT card)."

No they don't. What you may have encountered is the fact that in some (all?) European countries the merchant can pass the handling charge on to you.

"In addition, they force you to use a PIN they generate - no way to select your own pin."

No they don't.

"Total monthly charges includes account maintenance and other fees which I have never seen here, in the US."

This is not universal, indeed if you are happy to have a high APR lots are free. Like the four (from three countries) I have in my wallet for example...

"I also found that my US credit cards could not be used in a quite a few small shops in France - they were looking for a card with a chip, and simply did not know what to do with a card without a chip. Bigger shops could handle it, no issues, but not the smaller ones, with less tourist traffic."

Or they might just have been pissed off you were wanting to pay for a coffee with a credit card with the associated fees that brings on them.

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Re: European credit cards

I'm not sure which European cards you've used before, but a UK credit card would also usually be completely free if you pay it off in full each month. You are issued a random pin number but this can be changed in any ATM at any time (not just once)

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Anonymous Coward

"US rules for credit cards are different..."

Sound just like UK to me except for the lack of PIN

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Anonymous Coward

Stupid American

You are wrong in so many ways:

They do not want a transaction fee from you unless you are withdrawing money from an ATM which you really shouldn't do with a credit card anyway. In Europe it is common for the merchant to pass the charge onto you if paying by credit card and they tell you if they are going to do that. Nothing to do with the credit card company.

You seem to know the difference between DEBIT and CREDIT as do us Europeans. That's why we tend to have a DEBIT card that takes money straight from our account and a CREDIT card for things like online transactions as you are better protected. Nobody ever thinks they are the same thing.

You can pick whatever PIN you like. Put it in the ATM and select the on-screen option that reads - CHANGE PIN NUMBER

Total monthly charges should only include INTEREST and anything else you may have requested like PAYMENT PROTECTION INSURANCE or if you are stupid enough to say yes when they offer it to you IDENTITY THEFT PROTECTION. If you pay off your balance every month there are no charges, not even the insurance as that is based on the amount outstanding.

As for the smaller shops, requiring a PIN is mandated by the credit card company as part of the terms and conditions laid down by the credit card company to allow them accept credit card payments. Nothing to do with the shop owner, they simply aren't allowed to accept a transaction without a PIN number.

PS, we can also get cashback it isn't unique to the U.S.

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Megaphone

Huhhhhhhhhhhhhh

You probably should mean "lack of CHIP", the US uses PIN.

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Anonymous Coward

No Chip? No transaction.

""I also found that my US credit cards could not be used in a quite a few small shops in France - they were looking for a card with a chip, and simply did not know what to do with a card without a chip. Bigger shops could handle it, no issues, but not the smaller ones, with less tourist traffic."

Or they might just have been pissed off you were wanting to pay for a coffee with a credit card with the associated fees that brings on them."

Or maybe they didn't want to do business with somebody who is clearly (from the tone of his post) stupid and arrogant? I'm used to dealing with these idiots. We had one a few years back who had a really good rant about the fact that he'd taken 100 Irish Punts out of a cash machine and his account had been charged well over 100 dollars. He was incandescent about this until we explained carefully that a Punt was worth much more than a dollar. It took some explaining because he could not believe that the currency of some little country like Ireland was worth more than the might US dollar. When he had seen exchange rate at the airport he had automatically assumed it was the other way round.

the More likely, however, is the the fact that plenty of businesses in Europe don't even have the facility to process a card without a chip. For example a lot of small shops have found in the last few years that they need to take cards so they have got a chip and pin terminal from their bank. Most of these companies don't like cards because they get charged for using them most of their transactions are cash so unlike large companies they don't build the fee into their pricing. However they do feel they have to take cards or lose business so they take chip and pin cards because that covers 99% or more of all the card transactions they are ever going to have to deal with, so why bother gearing up to deal with some outmoded system just to pander to the occasional US tourist who carn't be arsed to carry cash?

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Stop

I may be mistaken, but...

He admitted the use of the card, yes. Did he admitted the intention to use a card that wasn´t the owner?

Because all my post was based ont the POSSIBILITY that he - in good faith - used the wrong card.

As I said, I could have done it. In perfectly good faith.

So. Did he confirm the intention?

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Great response time .....

Police responding and making the arrest before the pizza is cooked – Surly this is big fat Yankee cop related and this response time could have only be bettered if it had happened in a donut shop.

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Coffee/keyboard

Dentists...

Dentistry is just legalised mugging. If you don't come away bloody and bruised you still get the contents of your wallet lifted...

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Two thumbs up

For accuracy of post!

The stories I could tell....

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Shocking!

The rich robbing the poor - whatever next!

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