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ORC 8-17-16




Top 6 ORC Cases by Dollar Amount in first half of 2016

158 Suspects Arrested - $208.6 Million in Theft


Credit Card Fraud


Leader Of International, $200 Million Credit Card Fraud Scam gets 80 Months  19 Charged in Largest Ever CC Fraud Case Prosecuted by DOJ
A New York man was sentenced 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.

Lodhi 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.


Woman gets 3 years for role in the above mentioned $200M credit card fraud scam
A Philadelphia woman has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for her role in a $200 million credit card fraud scheme the U.S. Department of Justice calls the largest it has prosecuted. Vernina Adams had pleaded guilty. She was sentenced Friday in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey.

The Department of Justice says the New Jersey-based crime ring created more than 7,000 fake identities to get tens of thousands of credit cards. Nineteen people were charged, including the 34-year-old Adams in 2013.


Counterfeit Ring


Queens Crime Ring Busted - Generating $2.6M annually
Counterfeit Perfume seized in major New York Raid;
Selling to wholesalers and mom & pop stores

Five Queens men were busted Wednesday for running a multimillion-dollar counterfeit-perfume operation that peddled phony merchandise containing trace amounts of a cancer-causing substance. The crew took trips to China, where they would get name-brand perfumes such as Chanel, Lacoste and Calvin Klein duplicated, then pedal the goods to wholesalers in the city and across the nation at a steep discount. An 11-month investigation by the NYPD, in conjunction with Homeland Security and US Border Patrol, led to the 6 a.m. arrests of ringleader Patrick Badal, 45, Abul Kashem, 49, Kaium Shah, 52, Kenny Hi, 61, and wholesaler 42-year-old Parvez Shazzed. When the merchandise reached New York City ports and terminals, the fraudsters would slap fake designer tags on the packaging from inside several storage facilities across Queens, officials said. The operation raked in an estimated $2.6 million annually once the goods were shipped off to wholesalers and retailers, including "mom and pop" shops in lower Manhattan, police said. Authorities recovered about 60,000 bottles of counterfeit perfume in the raid - and they seized 15 bank accounts and several luxury cars, including a BMW and a Lexus.

Cargo Theft


Houston, TX: Cargo Theft Ring busted "Operation Wheels & Deals" 130 arrests in $2 Million theft
When thieves pounced on country music star Zane Williams' van and trailer outside a restaurant in north Houston in May 2015, they unwittingly tipped off authorities to where they kept stolen equipment and pushed law enforcement agencies to work on similar cases together. On Tuesday, the Houston Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security announced a network of 130 people had been arrested and charged with stealing upward of $2 million of merchandise from trailers throughout the Houston area, all within the past year. HPD made 80 of those arrests.




2 sentenced in $2M baby formula ring -
Operating From Houston to Bayonne, N.J.

Two men were sentenced in federal court Thursday for their roles in a multimillion-dollar stolen baby formula ring that ran from Houston to Bayonne, N.J.

Abel Garcia Tepozotlan, 53, an undocumented Mexican national, was sentenced to a year and a half in prison, after which he will likely be deported. Ahmad Manzoor, 73, a naturalized U.S. citizen who immigrated from Pakistan, to five years of federal probation. He must pay a fine of $75,000. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport stolen merchandise through interstate commerce. Tepolotlan, who also went by Eugenio Ortiz Contreras, organized a crew that stole infant formula from various Wal-Mart, HEB, Winn-Dixie and other stores in the Houston area from 2012 to 2013.

They then sold the cans, valued at more than $2 million, to fences in Houston. These intermediaries repackaged and shipped the powdered formula to a candy store in New Jersey.


Credit Card Fraud


New York, NY: Bikini model charged in $2M identity-theft ring
An identity theft ring that included a sultry bikini model racked up $2 million in fraudulent charges to bankroll lavish trips, luxury cars and fancy shopping sprees, authorities said Tuesday. Curvy vixen Patricia Perez-Gonzalez, 26, her boyfriend Alberto Companioni, 31, and others allegedly opened 40 American Express Platinum cards using their victims' stolen personal information, the Manhattan DA's office said. The ring primarily targeted the elderly, officials said. The Miami-based couple flew to New York, California and Hawaii, dined at pricey restaurants like Bagatelle and blew tens of thousands at Hermes, Burberry, Louis Vuitton and the Apple store, court records show.


Des Moines, IA: Florida sex offender gets 70 years in federal prison for retail, child porn, drug scheme
A convicted Orange County sex offender was sentenced to 70 years in federal prison for running a multi-state operation that dealt in retail theft, child pornography, giving drugs to children and witness tampering, the FBI said. Bradley Prucha, 39, of Ocoee, was convicted in federal court in Iowa, where he had gone to pursue his ex-wife and fight for custody of his son. According to the Florida sex offender registry, in 2002, Prucha was convicted in Orange County for lewd or lascivious battery of a child younger than 16. He was also convicted of a retail theft scheme involving the use of counterfeit UPC bar code stickers. He was released from Florida prison in 2013, within a week of relocating to Iowa, Prucha restarted his bar code switching scheme, recruiting his new landlord to help.

FENCING OPERATION: Fort Wayne, IN: Pawn Shop employee gets six months for her part in Pawn Shop Theft Ring
Alisha C. Adkins was ordered to serve six months of a three-year sentence for her part in a pawn shop theft ring. Adkins pleaded guilty July 21 to her part in a pawn shop theft ring, in which she stole items from pawn shops and repawned them at other area pawn shops Oct. 8-24. Police were able to link through LeadsOnline items allegedly pawned by Adkins at Cash America pawn stores, B&B Loan Co. and other pawn shops.

Plano, TX: Alleged ring leader of credit card crime ring operation arrested
Police believe a man arrested for stealing packages in Plano is actually the leader of a credit card crime ring operating in North Texas and throughout the country. On Monday, the Plano Fire Chief who says someone stole his credit card information, ordered $6,000 worth of stuff to his home, and then stole the shipments. That's until Plano police intercepted the package and arrested Dayo Anisulowo for the crime. Anisulowo was arrested again on Tuesday for the third time. He was charged with credit card abuse.

Ohio County, WV: Shoplifting ring busted at The Highlands in Triadelphia, WV

Update: Fifth person arrested in Kohl's Shoplifting/ Police Chase

Fort Wayne, IN: Three men receive probation in Kroger / Walmart liquor theft ring

CC Fraud NYC Duo busted hitting Giant Eagle stores for $10,525

Fed's indict CC Fraud Duo in Scranton, PA

Santa Monica, CA: Repeat Shoplifter busted at Bloomingdale's with $900 in merchandise

Livingston County, MI: Jennifer Lynne Hooper pleaded guilty Organized Retail Crime and the prosecution agreed she can be referred to the drug court and pay $2,000 in restitution

ORC 8-17-16
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