BURLINGTON — A Brooklyn, N.Y., man has been sentenced to 25 months in prison on charges of defrauding at least eight businesses in downtown Burlington.
Prosecutors say 29-year-old Shamel Hugee used a prepaid debit card at Church Street marketplace stores for clothing and other items. When the card was rejected, Hugee told the merchants there was a safety feature on the card that required permission for sales over a certain amount. Prosecutor say he would pretend to call his bank and then give the sales clerk a code to override the rejection.
When the credit card company refused to honor the charges, the merchants were stuck with them.
Prosecutors say Hugee used the same scheme in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Jersey. He was sentenced in Vermont on Tuesday.