200M credit card fraud scam that created 7000 new identities
Department of Justice was unveiled today as 18 defendants were charged with bank fraud conspiracy in a federal complaint unsealed in Newark, officials said. financial institutions, which, in turn, affects every citizen of the United States,” said David Velazquez, the acting head of the Newark based arm of the FBI. “This elaborate network utilized thousands of false identities, fraudulent bank accounts, fake companies, and collusive merchants to defraud financial institutions of hundreds of millions of dollars in order to facilitate extravagant lifestyles they could otherwise not afford.”
Defendants allegedly wired millions of dollars to Pakistan, India, the United Arab Emirates, China, Romania, Japan and Canada after the scam began in 2003. At the same time, some defendants stockpiled mounds of cash and gold, the complaint said, including one person who allegedly hoarded $68,000 in cash in his Jersey City stove.
According to the complaint and officials, most of the 18 defendants have ethnic ties to Pakistan. Six of them live in New Jersey (including four in Iselin); buy fake ids one in Philadelphia, and the rest in New York. Some of the defendants may be related, officials also said, while adding that the entire scheme had strong ties to Jersey City including to three jewelry stores on Newark Avenue named Ashu Jewels, Tanishq Jewels and Raja Jewels. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Paul Fishman announced that federal agents arrested 13 of the alleged conspirators, most of whom are of South Asian descent, and executed raids on businesses in Jersey City that took part in the scheme. Some 7,000 false identities were used to execute the scheme, with large sums of money being sent overseas to Pakistan, Canada and the United Kingdom. And those charged today were said to be “the top members of the Fraud Enterprise.” Officials also said that others involved in the scheme could still be charged.
Meanwhile, the names of the credit card companies were not disclosed.
Many of the defendants, according to the complaint, were not employed during the last five years, yet some still managed to buy luxury automobiles, electronics, spa treatments, expensive clothing and millions of dollars in gold in recent years.
Quereshi alone made a wire transfer of $500,000 last September and more than $1 million has flowed through one of many personal bank accounts since 2005, buy fake ids the complaint alleges. Attorney Paul Fishman, Velazquez and other officials, Fishman detailed a complex scheme that featured a combination of identity theft and credit card fraud that was pulled off with great precision.
Fishman and the complaint detailed a scheme in which the defendants used sophisticated methods including coming up with fake driver licenses and creating phony utility bills to fabricate identities that allowed them to get credits cards in the names of people who sometimes did not exist. attorney explained that in the identity theft part of the scheme, conspirators sometimes used the names and information of real people who had left the United States and were willing to sell their identities. Several of the conspirators were accomplished fake ID makers, and made hundreds of driver licenses and Social Security cards, he added.
Fishman also explained that in “pumping up” the credit card limits, conspirators would sometimes make small charges on cards, then pay those charges on time raising the limit by acting as responsible customers. In other instances, he said, the conspirators boosted credit worthiness for their false identities. In this new, sophisticated method of fraud, accomplices would report phony debts on the credit reports that went with the fake identities; and soon, they would then remove the debts from those same credit reports, Fishman said.
It was a clever scheme, he added the conspirators make it look like the false identities have incurred, and then paid back, significant debts, Fake ID and so their credit scores increase.
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