New York man charged in bank fraud “foreclosure” scheme | USAO-NJ


NEWARK, NJ – A New York man was indicted today by a federal grand jury in a scheme to defraud banks by using stolen and altered identities to fraudulently obtain credit cards and then use these cards to make millions of dollars in fees that have never been reimbursed, announced interim prosecutor Rachael A. Honig.

Mohammad Mushtaq, 56, of Valley Stream, New York, is charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud financial institutions, five counts of bank fraud, one count of access device fraud and ‘one aggravated charge of identity theft.

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

Mushtaq and his conspirators engaged in a scheme to use stolen and altered identities to obtain credit cards from financial institutions, and then use those credit cards to make purchases they did not have. intention to repay, leaving financial institutions to bear the losses.

Mushtaq and his conspirators used personal identifying information of people, including dates of birth, driver’s license numbers and Social Security numbers, to create “synthetic identities”, sometimes by combining name and social security number of real people with a fictitious date of birth. , and sometimes by associating the person’s social security number with a fictitious name and date of birth. They often used a minor’s name and Social Security number and changed the date of birth to make the identity appear to be that of an adult. Mushtaq altered the personally identifiable information of his own spouse and minor child in this manner to create fraudulent identities which were then used as part of the scheme.

Mushtaq and his conspirators have used stolen and synthetic identities to obtain lines of credit, primarily by opening credit card accounts at financial institutions (“Fraud Cards”). The fraudulent cards have been kept in good standing with financial institutions long enough to establish the creditworthiness of the stolen and synthetic identities. Mushtaq and his conspirators then “flushed out” the fraudulent cards by making large purchases and never paying off debts.

Mushtaq’s conspirator, Asif Ali, also created many so-called companies that did little or no legitimate business (the “shell companies”). Mushtaq and Ali used these bogus companies to debit hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent cards, which were then deposited into bank accounts opened in the name of the bogus companies.

The conspiracy to defraud financial institutions charge and the bank fraud charges each carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of $ 1 million, or double the gain or loss. gross loss of the offense, whichever is greater. The access device fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000, or double the gross gain or loss resulting from the offense, whichever is greater. The charge of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison, which must be served consecutively to any other prison sentence imposed.

Asif Ali, Tassadiq Hussain and Shahid Akhtar have already pleaded guilty because of their role in this scheme and in the one linked to it. Ali awaits his conviction before US District Judge Anne E. Thompson. Hussain and Akhtar were sentenced by Judge Thompson to 41 months and time served, respectively.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited U.S. Postal Inspection Service postal inspectors, under the direction of Acting Inspector-in-Charge Raimundo Marrero, with the investigation leading to the indictment of today.

The charges in the indictment are only allegations and the accused is presumed innocent until convicted.

The government is represented by Interim US Attorney Rachael A. Honig.

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