Home Newark Press Releases 2013 Ten Indicted in $200 Million International Credit Card Fraud Conspiracy

Ten Indicted in $200 Million International Credit Card Fraud Conspiracy

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 27, 2013
  • District of New Jersey (973) 645-2888

NEWARK, NJ—Ten individuals who allegedly participated in one of the largest credit card fraud schemes ever charged by the Justice Department now face a 25-count indictment charging additional crimes, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Nine of the defendants charged in the indictment unsealed today were previously charged by complaint in February 2013 in connection with the scheme, which allegedly caused more than $200 million in losses. A 10th defendant, Amar Singh, is charged for the first time in this indictment. The complaint charged 18 defendants with bank fraud conspiracy, alleging their participation in a scheme to fabricate more than 7,000 false identities to obtain tens of thousands of credit cards. Many of those defendants have since pleaded guilty to related charges. The indictment announced today adds wire fraud charges against seven of the defendants with pending cases.

The charged defendants are as follows:

Name

Age

Residence

Counts Charged

Status

Babar Qureshi

59

Iselin, New Jersey

one: bank fraud conspiracy;
15, 16, 22: wire fraud

detained

Ijaz Butt

54

Hicksville, New York

one: bank fraud conspiracy;
17, 18, 19: wire fraud

detained

Khawaja Ikram

40

Staten Island, New York

one: bank fraud conspiracy;
20, 21, 23: wire fraud

bailed

Azhar Ikram

40

Howard Beach, New York

one: bank fraud conspiracy;
14, 24, 25: wire fraud

detained

Vinod Dadlani

50

Lyndhurst, New Jersey

one: bank fraud conspiracy;
two, three, nine, 10: wire fraud

bailed

Vijay Verma

46

Iselin, New Jersey

one: bank fraud conspiracy; four, six, 11: wire fraud

bailed

Tarsem Lal

74

Iselin, New Jersey

one: bank fraud conspiracy;
five, seven, eight, 12, 15: wire fraud

bailed

Habib Chaudhry

45

Valley Stream, New York

one: bank fraud conspiracy;

at large

Muhammad Naveed

36

Flushing, New York

one: bank fraud conspiracy;

at large

Amar Singh

62

Floral Park, New York

one: bank fraud conspiracy;

at large

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

The scheme involved a three-step process. The defendants would make up a false identity by creating fraudulent identification documents and a fraudulent credit profile with the major credit bureaus. Then they would pump up the credit of the false identity by providing false information about that identity’s creditworthiness to those credit bureaus. Finally, they borrowed or spent as much as they could, based on the phony credit history, but did not repay the debts—causing more than $200 million in confirmed losses to businesses and financial institutions.

The scope of the criminal fraud enterprise required the conspirators to construct an elaborate network of false identities. Across the country, the conspirators maintained more than 1,800 “drop addresses,” including houses, apartments, and post office boxes, which they used as the mailing addresses for the false identities.

The conspiracy to commit bank fraud charge and each of the wire fraud charges carry a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI’s Cyber Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark; postal inspectors, under the direction of Postal Inspector in Charge Maria L. Kelokates; and special agents of the U.S. Secret Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James Mottola. He also thanked the U.S. Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, for its role in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel V. Shapiro and Zach Intrater of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit and Barbara Ward of the office’s Asset Forfeiture Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices, and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory, and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions, and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed nearly 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit www.stopfraud.gov.

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