A 31-year-old Fairfax man who used a stolen Visa credit card to get $140,130 from three automatic teller machines in the Washington area was sentenced yesterday to two to six years in prison by a federal judge here.
Michael Anthony Caputo of 7901 Wolf Run Hills Rd., Fairfax Station, who pleaded guilty last month to one count of credit card fraud, made the withdrawals Oct. 19 and 20 using a credit card that belonged to John D. Schrott, a McLean businessman.
Authorities said yesterday that Caputo spent a large amount of the money to support a drug habit and that only about $20,000 was recovered. Caputo has said that he purchased the credit card in a street transaction on 14th Street NW and that Schrott was not involved.
The United Virginia Bank, which issued the card, must absorb the loss. Federal law limits a card holder's liability to $50 for improper charges. The bank's computer approved the repeated transactions -- more than 400 in 48 hours.
"I'm sorry that I did it," was Caputo's only statement yesterday to U.S. District Judge William B. Bryant.
"When was the last time you spent any time in jail?" Bryant asked Caputo, noting that he had been arrested 29 times but has served only one nine-month jail term in Texas.
Caputo had sought to avoid a jail term so he could continue his $700-a-week construction job, and possibly make restitution to the bank.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert McDaniel asked for a jail term, saying that the "facts speak rather dramatically" about the "one wild weekend" Caputo spent making withdrawals.
"I tried to figure out a way to make restitution," Bryant said, "but he can't."