Indian Origin New York Man Sentenced to Two Years in Prison in International Credit Card Fraud Conspiracy

NEWARK, NJ (TIP): A New York man of Indian origin was sentenced on Sept 19 to 24 months in prison for his role in one of the largest credit card fraud schemes ever charged by the Justice Department, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Raghbir Singh, 61, of Hicksville, New York, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Judge Arleo imposed the sentence in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Singh was originally charged in February 2013 as part of a conspiracy to fabricate more than 7,000 false identities to obtain tens of thousands of credit cards. Members of the conspiracy doctored credit reports to pump up the spending and borrowing power associated with the cards. They 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 scheme involved a three-step process in which the defendants would make up a false identity by creating fraudulent identification documents and a fraudulent credit profile with the major credit bureaus; pump up the credit of the false identity by providing false information about that identity’s creditworthiness to those credit bureaus; finally, run up large loans.

The scope of the criminal fraud enterprise required the defendants and their conspirators to construct an elaborate network of false identities. Across the country, the conspirators maintained more than 1,800 “drop addresses,” including houses, apartments and post office boxes, which they used as the mailing addresses of the false identities.

Singh admitted he helped obtain credit cards in the name of third parties – many of which were fictional – then directed the credit cards to be mailed to addresses controlled by members of the conspiracy. He also admitted he knew the cards would be used fraudulently at businesses.

In addition to the prison terms, Judge Arleo sentenced Singh to three years of supervised release and fined him $1,000.

(Source: DOJ- U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey)

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