NEW HAVEN — Connecticut U.S. Attorney John H. Durham announced Wednesday a federal grand jury has indicted a New Haven man for fraud and identity theft.
55-year-old Steven A. Finkler appeared before a judge Tuesday and plead not guilty to credit card fraud, wire fraud and identity theft offenses.
Finkler has also been accused of stealing an individual’s identity to open a membership at a gym with locations throughout the state and using that same identity to create accounts and make payments through mobile apps.
Officials say between September 2018 and May 2019, Finkler visited multiple gyms, stealing credit cards from lockers while the owners were located elsewhere in the gym.
Using the stolen credit cards, and mobile applications, Finkler allegedly made thousands of dollars in fake charges to online bank accounts that he created and controlled.
Finkler then returned the credit cards to the victims’ wallets before they returned to the locker room.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Finkler has used multiple alliases, including ‘Andrew Finkler.’
The federal grand jury indicted Finkler on one count of access device fraud, four counts of wire fraud and five counts of aggravated identity theft.
The U.S. Attorney’s office says each of the fraud charges carry a maximum of 20 years in prison, while each count of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory minimum of two years.
An investigation into FInkler’s activity is ongoing by the U.S. Secret Service, Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force, and police departments of multiple municipalities.
Individuals who believe they have been victimized by this scheme, or Finkler, are encouraged to call the U.S. Secret Service at 203-865-2449.