At least five Indian-origin men, including one Tarsem Lal, are among 18 others charged here for running a whopping USD 200 million global credit card fraud under which they used thousands of fake identities to dupe businesses and financial firms and wired millions of dollars to Pakistan and India.
In one of the largest credit card fraud schemes ever charged by the US Department of Justice, the men fabricated identities to obtain credits cards and doctored credit reports to pump up the spending and borrowing power associated with the cards.
They would then borrow or spend as much as they could based on their fraudulently obtained credit history and not repay the debts, looting businesses and financial institutions of more than USD 200 million in confirmed losses, US Attorney Paul Fishman said.
Law enforcement officers from the FBI arrested 13 men and searched locations in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
Among those charged with bank fraud are Babar Quereshi 59, Ijaz Butt 53, Raghbir Singh 57, Mohammad Khan 48, Sat Verma 60, Vijay Verma 45, Tarsem Lal 74 and Vinod Dadlani 49.
Each faces a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a million dollar fine.
"The criminal activity highlights an extensive, sophisticated, organised scheme, executed against US financial institutions, which, in turn, affects every citizen of the US," Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velazquez said.
"This elaborate network utilised 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," he said.
Indians among 18 charged in global USD 200 mn credit card scam
(AP) Eighteen people have been charged in what may be one of the largest US credit card fraud rings, a sprawling international scam that duped credit rating agencies and used thousands of fake identities to steal at least $200 million, federal authorities said Tuesday.
The elaborate scheme involved improving fake cardholders' credit scores, allowing the scammers to borrow more money that they never repaid, investigators said.
ďThe accused availed themselves of a virtual cafeteria of sophisticated frauds and schemes, whose main menu items were greed and deceit,'' said David Velazquez, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI's Newark field office.
The US attorney in Newark, Paul Fishman, described an intricate Jersey City-based con that began in 2007, operated in at least 28 states and wired money to Pakistan, India,