Man sentenced to 17 years in prison for credit card scheme

A man will spend at least 17 years behind bars and be forced to pay restitution after pleading guilty to swindling more than $1.1 million from 15 victims, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.

Joseph Brown, 36 pleaded guilty to theft by taking, computer theft, identity fraud, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

The DA said Brown’s victims included plastic surgeons, doctors, and restaurant owners. Between April 2014 and Nov. 2015, Brown called a credit card processing company about 345 times to gather pieces of information on the customers eventually getting enough information to convince the processor to divert funds to several fake bank accounts.

Brown was sentenced to 30 years with at least 17 of those to serve in prison. He also was ordered to repay $450,000 which he was actually fully taken from the local credit card processing company.

The DA said Brown has been arrested 26 times before and convicted of 9 prior felonies in metro Atlanta. He was still serving 10 years’ probation for a 2012 ID fraud conviction.