A convicted felon at the center of a North Jersey loan-sharking and credit card fraud ring turned himself in to authorities to face conspiracy charges.
Guy Madmon, 32, of Fair Lawn forced owners of struggling eateries — including the Plaza Diner in Fort Lee — to steal their customers’ credit card information to repay loans he made at exorbitant rates, Essex prosecutors say.
Madmon was 19 when he gave Las Vegas authorities the slip after being charged with a home invasion in which he strong-armed the victims. He eventually turned himself in to the local FBI office and moved east after selling his Las Vegas home in 2003.
Madmon later was accused of being a major player in an Amsterdam-based Ecstasy ring but testified against associates after making a deal with prosecutors in Manhattan.
The Jersey eatery investigation began with the usual astronomical-interest loans that are the stock-in-trade of strong-armed hoods who prey on the desperate. (See: You may have been ripped off in credit-card scam)
Having trouble keeping their businesses afloat, the owners turned to the sharks, authorities said. When they fell behind in payments, as often happens in these deals, the wiseguys demanded credit card numbers, authorities said.
Madmon, who surrendered on Monday, is one of seven people charged so far in the ongoing investigation, said Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow.
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