UEL student escapes jail over fake credit card

13:25 31 January 2013

An architecture student who tried to buy more than £3,000 of designer clothing and accessories with a fake credit card escaped jail today.

University of East London (UEL) student Richard Quitaleg, 23, of Claughton Road, Plaistow, tried to dupe staff at luxury store Louis Vuitton, in New Bond Street, with a counterfeit American Express card and a bogus Californian driving licence.

He tried to buy clothing and a bag worth £3,005 in July last year.

Speaking at Southwark Crown Court, prosecutor Gavin Ludlow-Thompson said the shop assistant became suspicious after the American Express card was declined.

He said: “The defendant was found to have another fraudulent credit card and in an interview which followed made a full and frank admission as to his liability for the offences.”

Tim Williams, defending, said the student had been approached at his university by “people who offered him the card and offered him a cut of the proceeds from this”.

He said: “He perhaps agrees with me this is the most stupid thing he’s ever done.”

Sentencing Quitaleg to six months in jail, suspended for 18 months, and ordering him to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, Judge Anthony Pitts said: “You’re 23-years-old, obviously a bright and talented young man with a good career opening up in front of you.

“It is very surprising to see someone of your background and calibre committing what are serious offences.”

Quitaleg admitted fraud and possession of an identity document with improper intent.

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