R v Stoia: card skimming and sentencing

Floyd, Louise (2012) R v Stoia: card skimming and sentencing. Criminal Law Journal, 36 (2). pp. 123-126.

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[Extract] R v Stroia¹ is an important decision in which the Queensland Court of Appeal unanimously refused leave to appeal against a sentence passed under the Commonwealth Criminal Code in relation to charges of: possessing a thing with intent to dishonestly obtain or deal in personal financial information, wilful damage, and dealing in the proceeds of crime where the value of the money was $50,000 or more. The offences manifested themselves in the activity commonly known as "card skimming". Essentially, cameras were hidden in automatic teller machines (ATMs) to read personal identification numbers (PINs) and electronic card skimming devices were fitted to card slots to read account details. In this case, the card skimming was connected to an international crime syndicate.

The sentencing remarks are significant for two reasons. First, in finding that the sentence of three years with release after 18 months was not "manifestly excessive", the Court of Appeal emphasised that "deterrence was a particularly important consideration in this case".² Even though the perpetrator was a "foot soldier" rather than a prime mover in the criminal enterprise, electronic banking crime was a serious matter.³ Secondly, the court found that other card skimming cases raised by counsel were not "closely comparable" to this case.⁴ While the court did not provide extensive reasoning on that latter point, the judgment demonstrates that there is now an emerging body of law on this relatively new crime of card skimming. Factors such as the payment of reparations may be taken into account in possibly discounting a sentence, while the availability to the offender of alternative means of income may increase sentence.

This case note analyses the court's reasoning in the Stroia sentencing remarks and outlines the key aspects of some significant further card skimming cases raised by Counsel in the Stroia sentencing.

Item ID: 26137
Item Type: Article (Commentary)
ISSN: 0314-1160
Keywords: criminal law, sentencing
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Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2013 00:40
FoR Codes: 18 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 1801 Law > 180110 Criminal Law and Procedure @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940499 Justice and the Law not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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