Elk Grove Man Pleads Guilty to Debit Card Fraud and Student Loan Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 23, 2013|
SACRAMENTO, CA—Mordechay Altit, aka Michael Altit, aka Anthony Altit, aka Tony Altit, 34, of Sacramento, pleaded guilty today to two counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering in connection with fraudulent use of debit cards and student loan fraud, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, Altit applied for debit cards issued from banks or other providers of debit cards in his own name or using the names and Social Security numbers of other persons. Altit then used merchant and terminal identification numbers issued to merchants and businesses across the country to cause fraudulent refunds and credits to be placed on the debit cards he controlled. Before the businesses could rescind these transactions, Altit used the cards to spend and transfer the money. Altit attempted to have at least $450,000 in fraudulent merchant returns credited to his debit cards.
According to court documents, Altit obtained more than $200,000 in student loans and attempted to receive an additional $250,000 in student loans from banks by means of fraudulent representations. On applications submitted by him, Altit fraudulently represented the names of the students applying for the loans, their Social Security numbers, their incomes, and that they were attending or planned to attend schools such as California State University, Sacramento, Southern California University of Health Sciences, Harvard Law School and Yale School of Medicine. After receiving some of the proceeds from two of the student loans, Altit then wrote checks for more than $19,000 each to his brother Shay Din Altit. Shay Din Altit pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on April 4, 2013. He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 13, 2013.
These cases are the product of investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Division, and the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Lee S. Bickley is prosecuting the case.
Altit is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell, Jr. on November 8, 2013. The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of mail fraud is 20 years and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for money laundering is 10 years and a fine of $250,000. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.