Leader Of International, $200 Million Credit Card Fraud Scam
Sentenced To 80 Months In Prison
TRENTON, N.J. - A New York man was sentenced today to 80 months for leading one
of the largest credit card fraud schemes ever charged by the U.S. Department of
Justice, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Tahir Lodhi, 56, of Hicksville, N.Y., previously pleaded guilty. Lodhi directed
the activities of a number of other conspirators in fabricating more than 7,000
false identities to obtain tens of thousands of credit cards. They doctored
credit reports to pump up the spending and borrowing power associated with the
cards. Lodhi and others then 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 conspiracy generated enormous profits for Lodhi and his conspirators - even
though they spent millions of dollars sustaining the elaborate network of drop
addresses and running credit reports on the thousands of false identities.
Records of the New York and New Jersey Departments of Labor reveal that many of
Lodhi's conspirators had no reported legitimate employment in the last five
years. Nonetheless, Lodhi and his conspirators used the proceeds of the criminal
enterprise to buy luxury automobiles, electronics, spa treatments, expensive
clothing and millions of dollars in gold. They also stockpiled large sums of
and his conspirators also relied upon complicit businesses, including several
jewelry stores in the Jersey City, N.J., area, to extract money from the
fraudulent cards. The complicit businesses would allow certain conspirators to
conduct sham transactions on the phony cards and would then receive the proceeds
from the credit card companies and split them with the other conspirators.
Due to the massive scope of the conspiracy, which involved more than 25,000
fraudulent credit cards, loss calculations are ongoing. Final figures may grow
beyond the present confirmed losses of more than $200 million. justice.gov
Sacramento, CA: Two plead guilty in $186,000 Target Credit Card Fraud
Lee Yang, 34, and Chee Yang, 28, both of Sacramento, have pleaded guilty to
conspiracy to commit credit card fraud, according to U.S. Attorney Benjamin
Wagner. According to court documents, Lee Yang and Chee Yang participated in a
scheme that involved at least 500 unauthorized and counterfeit credit cards and
debit cards, affecting at least 1,800 victims, and leading to an estimated loss
of $186,000. The pair stole or possessed stolen mail, created or received
fraudulent credit and debit cards, and made fraudulent purchases totaling
thousands of dollars using the cards at national retailers such as Target in
various Sacramento-area locations, the U.S. Attorney's office says. The Yangs
remain in custody. Five co-defendants remain in the case, which is next set for
a status conference on February 25.
IN: Suspect in $60,000 credit card theft receives suspended sentence
The first of five defendants accused of using stolen credit cards to take more
than $60,000 at two Indiana casinos received a suspended sentence on Dec. 28.
Timothy A. Smith, 25, of Flossmoor, Ill., will have the opportunity to just be
on probation for six years and not go to jail if he doesn't get into any more
legal trouble. This is in part because of a plea agreement he entered on Dec.
14. With the agreement, he agreed to plead guilty to two counts of Class C
felony fraud on a financial institution, Class C felony corrupt business
influence, two counts of Class D felony fraud and two counts of Class D felony
theft. Smith's sentencing included a sentence of two years for the two counts of
fraud on a financial institution and the count of corrupt business influence
concurrently. Smith received one year each for the other charges, but he will
have to serve the other charges concurrently. Smith will have to abide by all
probation rules to avoid jail time, including keeping a job of at least 35 hours
a week. The suspects reportedly used credit cards with numbers belonging to
eight different victims to obtain cash advances, totaling more than $48,000 at
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson and more than $16,000 at Indiana Grand
Racing & Casino in Shelbyville.
East Lampeter Twp. PA: More than $40K in merchandise stolen from Lancaster
County Verizon store overnight
The burglary took place overnight at the Verizon store in the Mill Creek Square
complex on Lincoln Highway East, said East Lampeter Township police Lt. Robin
Weaver. High-end smart phones and tablets were stolen, police said. Store
employees discovered the theft Thursday and called police to investigate shortly
thereafter, Weaver said. Police are working to obtain surveillance video.
Co, VA: Police seek man who dons Walmart employee vest in theft scheme
Authorities are searching for a man who may be stealing from Walmart stores by
wearing an employee vest and who, on one recent occasion, used a ruse to get a
cashier to walk away from their logged-in register, Fairfax County police said
Thursday. Police said the unidentified man walked up to a cashier at the Fair
Lakes Shopping Center store around 4 p.m. on Dec. 15. He told the cashier that
he was needed in the office and, after the cashier left without logging out of
the register, proceeded to check out a customer before taking an undisclosed
amount of cash.
Westlake, OH: Police release surveillance pics of vacuum cleaner thief at Bed
Bath & Beyond; employee injured
Westlake Police are releasing surveillance pictures from a November robbery that
left a Bed Bath and Beyond employee injured. Two vacuum cleaners, totaling
$1399, were stolen from the Detroit Rd. store. According to police there were
two suspects. One came in the store to steal the merchandise while the other
remained in the vestibule. He apparently stayed there to trigger the automatic
sliding door to help the other suspect escape. Police say during a struggle with
the thieves an employee was hit by the suspect's car and hurt her foot. She was
able to get one of the vacuum's back.
Ephrata, PA: Retail theft suspect arrested after standoff
Ephrata Police say Charles R. McCarraher, 32, was arrested in Chester County.
McCarraher was wanted for allegedly stealing over $1,000 from a Walmart in
Ephrata. Police had issued a felony retail theft warrant for his arrest. Ephrata
Police say they received a tip McCarraher was staying in a hotel and contacted
local police, who found his vehicle at the hotel. McCarraher was taken into
custody after a brief standoff.