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Dead man’s credit card costly

Published 5:36pm Monday, July 23, 2012

Using a dead man’s credit card proved a bad bet for a Niles man.

In Berrien County Trial Court Monday, Judge Dennis Wiley ordered Jim Eldon Cole, 73, of 1021 Bame Ave., to pay $4,671, including restitution of $2,553, a $400 fine, $1,000 costs and $300 attorney fees, for illegally possessing a financial transaction device, which is a felony punishable by four years and/or a $5,000 fine.

“I’m extremely sorry this happened. It won’t happen again,” Cole said.

Wiley asked why the defendant was going to the casino, saying he was old enough to know it always wins.

Getting rich quickly “ain’t going to happen,” Wiley said.

The man’s widow reported to authorities the card had been used fraudulently multiple times in and around Buchanan between Feb. 24 and March 28 in excess of $750.

Surveillance video at Harding’s Market, 4719 Niles-Buchanan Rd., placed Cole there twice, March 7 and 14.

Cole, also sentenced to 60 days in jail as part of his two-year probationary sentence, told police he picked up the card outside the door of Liberty Dialysis on Longmeadow in Niles Township, where the victim had been receiving treatment prior to his death.


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