CAPITAL DISTRICT Patrick Ward, 22, of Freeport pleaded guilty to once count of criminal possession of forgery devices and one count of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, both felonies, in Albany County Court on Wednesday, Dec. 21, according to Albany District Attorney David Soares' office.
Ward will face four to 12 years in state prison when sentenced in February, according to Soares' office.
Ward was one of four people arrested by Colonie Police for conducting a counterfeit credit card ring where the group used identities to create fake credit cards which they used at various Albany stores during a four day period in January 2011, according to Soares' office. When arrested they allegedly possessed multiple fraudulent cards and a "Reader/Writer" skimming device that allows the user to load data on to a blank credit card, according to information from Soares' office.
Two other defendants, Eloise Hall and Deshanae Jones, previously pleaded guilty to felonies and Resean Blount awaits trial, according to Soares' office.
The total loss from the counterfeit credit card ring is approximately $20,000, according to Soares' office.
“Albany County has a robust retail community that offenders have and continue to target. Cashiers are the first line of defense. As we move forward in this shopping season, I encourage customers and retail personnel to be vigilant,” said Soares in a statement.