Crime Doesn’t Pay: Two Credit Card-Related Fraud Cases Result in Jail Time (Jan. 26, 2016)
Two separate cases involving credit card fraud have led to a sentence of 80 months in prison for leading one of the largest credit card fraud schemes and a guilty plea to a charge of stealing credit card data.
A New York man, Tahir Lodhi, led one of the largest credit card fraud scams, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, and was sentenced Jan. 7 in Trenton federal court to 80 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. He also was sentenced to five years of supervised release and fined $25,000. Lodhi, along with other co-conspirators, produced more than 7,000 fake identities and used those identities to provide false information about their creditworthiness to gain excellent credit ratings from the three major credit bureaus, according to a DOJ news release. After creating thousands of credit card accounts, members of the crime ring then spent or borrowed more than $200 million in debt that wasn’t paid back, resulting in losses to businesses and banks.
In a separate case, Ukrainian Sergey Vovnenko, of Naples, Italy, pleaded guilty Jan. 20 to using thousands of computers to steal log-in and credit card data, according to a Reuters report. The official charges were aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Between September 2010 and August 2012, Vovnenko was a member of an international crime ring that hacked into consumers’ and companies’ computers to acquire bank account names and passwords to steal debit and credit card information, according to U.S prosecutors.