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Relating to creating the criminal offense of mass fraudulent use or
possession of credit card or debit card information.
The probable fiscal impact of implementing the bill is indeterminate due to the lack of
statewide data related to the specific circumstances involved in mass fraudulent use or
possession of credit card or debit card information. These data are necessary to determine
the fiscal implications of the punishment level assessed and the bill's enhancement provisions.
HB 2625 creates a new "mass fraudulent use or possession of credit card or debit card information" offense. A person would commit an offense if, with intent to harm or defraud another, the person obtains, possesses, transfers, or uses five or more counterfeit credit cards or debit cards, the numbers and expiration dates of five or more credit or debit cards without the consent of the account holder, or stores the data imprint of five or more credit or debit cards without the consent of the account holder.
The bill would create an associated penalty ladder ranging from third degree to first degree felony depending on the number of items obtained, possessed, transferred, or used. A penalty enhancement elevating the offense to the next level would apply if one or more of the victims was elderly.
Texas Action is neutral on HB 2625. We are concerned about creating new felony level punishments for nonviolent offenses which will lead to more lengthy prison sentences and increase the number of people with felony disabilities in society after incarceration. We recommend the legislature consider amending the bill to begin the penalty ladder at a misdemeanor level.