New York: 2 Muslims jailed in massive $200M credit card fraud case

A mere 12 and 24 months. No word on immigration status. via Two sentenced in massive $200M credit card fraud case | NJ.com

Fifteen of 18 defendants have pleaded or been found guilty in a fraud case that touched eight countries and 28 states.

A federal judge sentenced two Staten Island men Tuesday in what authorities said was one of the largest credit card fraud schemes ever prosecuted by the federal government.

U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson sentenced Khawaja Ikram, 43, and Mohammad Khan, 51, to 24 and 12 months in prison, respectively, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Trenton.

Ikram previously pleaded guilty to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and Khan had pleaded guilty to an information charging him with conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Ikram and Khan were charged in 2013 in an alleged conspiracy to create more than 7,000 fake identities to obtain “tens of thousands” of credit cards, according to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman’s office.

They were among 18 people charged in the conspiracy. According to a U.S. Attorney’s office spokesman, all but three of the 18 have been convicted of various fraud charges.

RELATED: Read the original complaint

Individuals in the conspiracy falsified credit reports to increase the spending and borrowing power of the credit cards, and then they borrowed the maximum amount allowed.

According to the office, they did not repay the loans, causing more than $200 million in losses to businesses and financial institutions.

Fishman’s office said the conspirators maintained more than 1,800 “drop addresses,” including houses, apartments and post office boxes as the mailing addresses for the false identities. The sites spanned eight countries and 28 states, authorities said.

Khan admitted to using the cards personally, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Besides the prison terms, Thompson ordered Ikram to pay a fine of $10,000 and serve five years of supervised release. Khan will serve three years of supervised release after jail.

The FBI, U.S Postal Service inspectors, the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Social Security Administration played key roles in the investigation, Fishman said.

Fishman’s office said the case was brought in coordination with President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which features more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and state and local agencies.

Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed nearly 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants, it said.

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