Eighteen people have been charged with stealing at least $200m (£127m) in a credit card fraud ring, possibly one of the largest in US history.
“The defendants and their conspirators stole hundreds of millions of dollars through a scheme repeated thousands of times to create more than 7,000 false identities and fraudulently obtain tens of thousands of credit cards (the “Fraud Cards”). 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 the credit bureaus. Believing the furnished information to be accurate, the credit bureaus would incorporate this material into the false identity’s credit report, making it appear that the false identity had excellent credit.
- “Run up” large loans using the false identity. The higher the fraudulent credit score, the larger the loans that the defendants could obtain. These loans were never repaid, and the defendants reaped the profits.”