A man from Middlesex County, New Jersey was recently sentenced for participating in an international credit card fraud conspiracy that involved over 7,000 false identities.
65-year-old Sat Verma, from the Iselin section of Woodbridge, NJ, was sentenced to one year in prison in federal court after pleading guilty to a single count of access device fraud. He was among 22 defendants sentenced for their roles in this widespread credit card fraud scheme, through which the conspirators obtained thousands of credit cards and over $200 million.
The fraud operation was carefully devised and executed in three phases. First, the actors would create a fake identity complete with fraudulent identification documents, actual addresses where documents and credit cards were sent, and false credit profiles with the major credit bureaus. Then, they would inflate the credit of the fake identity by providing false credit-related information. After that, they would spend or borrow money using the false identity and never pay the associated loans or bills.
According to authorities, the scheme racked-up over $200 million in debts to businesses and financial institutions. As for Verma’s role, he admitted to making transactions with access devices issued in another person’s name. Per the terms of his sentence, Verma will be required to serve one year in prison, plus three years of supervised release. He is also required to forfeit $270,000 and pay another fine of $1,000.
While this case was adjudicated in federal court, New Jersey has its own State laws on credit card fraud and identity theft. Although charges for credit card fraud and identity theft are often issued in conjunction, these charges are very different in terms of their grading. Specifically, the degree of a charge for identity theft will be determined based on the amount of money, goods, or services obtained through the course of the offense (N.J.S.A. 2C:21-17).
Credit card fraud is different, as these charges are often third degree crimes regardless of the value obtained through fraudulent use of a credit card (N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6). As you may have noticed, “access device” is a common term used in identity theft and fraud prosecutions. If you have been charged with a credit card fraud, forgery, or similar offense, you should know what it means.
Under New Jersey law, “access device” refers to property consisting of any telephone calling card number, credit card number, account number, mobile identification number, electronic serial number, personal identification number, or any other data intended to control or limit access to telecommunications or other computer networks in either human readable or computer readable form, either copy or original, that can be used to obtain telephone service. Access device also means property consisting of a card, code or other means of access to an account held by a financial institution, or any combination thereof, that may be used by the account holder for the purpose of initiating electronic fund transfers.
Our Middlesex County NJ Credit Card Fraud Defense Attorneys are Here for You
If you or a loved one has been arrested for stealing a credit card, using another person’s credit card, applying for a credit card using a false identity, or another credit card crime in Middlesex County, NJ, you should seek knowledgeable legal counsel immediately. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at William Proetta Criminal Law understand the nuances of theft and fraud law in New Jersey and we use this depth of knowledge to deliver the best results to our clients. For a free consultation about your fraud case, contact our offices in Edison now at (732)-659-9600 or send us an email with a brief explanation.
For additional information related to this case, access the following article: Middlesex County man sentenced in international credit card fraud conspiracy