Judge Arleo also sentenced Singh to three years of supervised release and fined him $1,000.
An Indian American man based in New York was sentenced to 24 months in prison after he was found guilty of the biggest credit card fraud ever handled by the Justice Department.
According to the Acting US Attorney William E Fitzpatrick, Indian American Raghbir Singh, 61, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and the sentence was awarded on Tuesday by judge Arleo in Newark federal court.
According to court documents, Singh was first charged in February 2013 after he was found to have conspired in fabricating more than 7,000 false identities to obtain tens of thousands of credit cards.
The document says, “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 fraud was conducted in a three-step process in which Singh make up false identity by creating fraudulent documents with details showing credit worthiness to 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.
Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the FBI’s Cyber Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencings. He also thanked postal inspectors, under the direction of Postal Inspector in Charge James V. Buthorn, and special agents of the U.S. Secret Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Mark McKevitt. He also thanked the U.S. Social Security Administration for its role in the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel V. Shapiro and Zach Intrater of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit and Barbara Ward of the office’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Unit in Newark.
This case was brought in coordination with the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.