13 Indians among 111 charged in biggest US credit card fraud
At least 13 persons of Indian origin are among 111 people charged
in the busting of a $13 million global crime ring, the biggest in
US history involved in forged credit cards and identity theft.
Announcing the uncovering of the ring Friday, Queens county
district attorney Richard Brown called it
New Jersey: US federal
prosecutors have charged 18 people, including at least five
Indians, in one of the largest credit card fraud schemes spanning
28 states and eight countries, including India.
Using over 25,000 fraudulent credit cards, the accused wired
millions of dollars to Pakistan, India, the United Arab Emirates,
Canada, Romania, China and Japan leading to losses of more than
$200 million, prosecutors said.
"The defendants are part of a massive international fraud
enterprise involving thousands of false identities, fraudulent
identification documents, doctored credit reports and more than
$200 million in confirmed losses," FBI Special Agent James Simpson
said in court records.
According to court records, the scheme involved three basic steps:
The defendants allegedly created thousands of fake identities,
pumped up the credit histories of those fictitious people and then
racked up charges on fraudulently obtained credit cards.
The proceeds, authorities said, were used for luxury automobiles,
electronics, spa treatments, high-end clothing and millions of
dollars in gold. Authorities said the fraudsters also stockpiled
large sums of cash and approximately $70,000 in cash was found in
one defendant's oven.
Though the scheme targeted credit card companies, Paul Fishman, US
Attorney for New Jersey, said customers everywhere could feel the
"Through their greed and their arrogance, the individuals arrested
today and their conspirators allegedly harmed not only the credit
card issuers, but everyone who deals with increased interest rates
and fees because of the money sucked out of the system by
criminals acting in fraud rings like this one," Fishman said.
The defendants, including the alleged ringleaders, Babar Qureshi
and Muhammad Shafiq, are due to make their initial court
appearances before US Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in a
Newark federal court Wednesday.