TSA Arrests Man for Too Many Credit Cards

The TSA has never caught a terrorist. But they’ve nabbed their first card churner going through a checkpoint in Fort Lauderdale prior to boarding a Delta flight for New York.

During a physical search of the bag, a security screener discovered four stacks of credit cards hidden inside four different sneakers on the bag’s bottom, the report said. The screener also noticed several credit cards were blank.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office responded and found 136 blank credit cards displaying logos of various banks, and 62 credit cards with two different listed account holders and various account numbers, the report said.

At first the man claimed “no knowledge of how the credit cards were in his duffel bag” (the ‘Shaggy defense‘). Then he claimed a cousin he couldn’t identify paid him $200 to bring the cards to place he couldn’t identify.

He’s charged with trafficking in counterfeit credit cards and forging cards.

If it were me I’d have probably just said that I really really wanted an Amex Black Card so I was going to make one using my real Platinum card number. Or was it a Visa Black Card that I wanted?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I travel with a spare or two pair of Reebok DMX Walking shoes (huge ciculating air cushions front and back). I normally stick a new box of earplugs (Walmart Green) in each shoe to keep them from being crushed. I’ve had TSA screeners comment to me about what a good idea to put “earplugs in your shoes” and also about the air compartments in the shoe sole. So they are looking closely at shoes and with pretty close detail.

  2. That is unfortunately not the Shaggy Defense, despite the citation in the wikipedia article. It states, “The term describes a strategy of flatly denying guilt and refusing to engage with the evidence against you, no matter how overwhelming.” But I think Wikipedia falls short there.

    The Shaggy Defense requires the defendant to claim “It wasn’t me” (or equivalent) when caught redhanded. In this case, he would have had to deny that he was carrying a bag full of credit cards, not merely that he had no idea how they got in there. In strict terms, that is the Shaggy Defense.

    I’d say I hope to use the Shaggy Defense in court one day, but I don’t think I have the balls to risk disbarment. Of course, if I’m ever disbarred in the ordinary course of things, I suppose I could try it on my own behalf.

  3. The TSA can’t arrest a ham sandwich, never mind a person.

    (I know that you know that, I just don’t like to see anyone giving the TSA any kind of real power.)

  4. Ok I am confused… So they caught a guy who was a fraudster and counterfeiter? Who was trafficking across state lines? And this is bad?

    I guess I don’t understand the story maybe? But to say he was a “churner” misleading. That’s not a churner

  5. This post is missing links to applications of credit cards he might have had. Doesn’t Chase offer 2x on airfare on one of their cards now?

  6. I think I love TSA humor. Perhaps because they allow no king.

    @AWTY — thanks for info and laugh. Singer/songwriter Theodore Bikel had a story about a child who killed his mother and father and then asked the court for mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan. TB called it the Chutzpah (sp?) defense.
    @DanR — funny!
    @ Mike — but I’m certain they have tried — for not removing the rye bread before X-ray.

  7. Card Churning and Card Fraud are completely different ball games. To try and connect them like this blog post does just tries to illegitimize card churning and to cast the accused party in a better light than as the card defrauding scum that he is.

  8. so if TSA can’t arrest him… could he have just walked out before the local police got there?

  9. Lantean,
    Internet lawyer here…TSA would let the cops know and I am thinking Cops would request an arrest warrant with probable cause. Once they nab him (unless he wants to remain on the run at large), he has to prove that despite video evidence that was not his bag and the goods contained inside were not his.

  10. They would have caught him at the ticket counter if they would have asked him if he packed his own bags and had them with him at all times 🙂

  11. Then of course there is the Nixon defense, in 3 parts:
    (1) It wasn’t me
    (2) Nobody saw me do it
    (3) I won’t do it again

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