18 charged in $248m global credit card fraud
NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) - Eighteen people were charged in what may be one of the largest credit card fraud rings in the United States (US), a sprawling international scam that duped credit-rating agencies and used thousands of fake identities to steal at least US$200 million (S$248 million), federal authorities said on Tuesday.
The elaborate scheme involved improving fake cardholders' credit scores, allowing the scammers to borrow more money that they never repaid, investigators said.
"In many respects the accused availed themselves of a virtual cafeteria of sophisticated frauds and schemes, whose main menu items were greed and deceit," said Mr David Velazquez, assistant special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Newark field office.
Mr Paul Fishman, the US attorney in Newark, described an intricate Jersey City-based con that began in 2007, operated in at least 28 states and wired money to Pakistan, India, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Romania, China and Japan.