Elk Grove Man Sentenced to More Than Five Years in Prison for Debit Card Fraud and Student Loan Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 08, 2013|
SACRAMENTO, CA—United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that Mordechay Altit, 34, of Elk Grove, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Garland E. Burrell to 63 months in prison. Altit pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering on August 23, 2013.
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, in a separate fraudulent scheme, 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 was sentenced to a year and a day in prison on September 27, 2013.
These cases are the product of investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Lee S. Bickley is prosecuting the case.