YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A Lyndhurst jewelry store owner today admitted in federal court that he used his business to further one of the largest credit card fraud schemes ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department.
Vinod Dadlani, 51, said he allowed accomplices to swipe bogus credit cards created with false identities at his Raja Jewelers store on Newark Avenue in Jersey City, then split the proceeds of the illegal transactions with them.
He became the 17th conspirator to take a plae in the case, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said this afternoon.
Dadlani was indicted in October 2013 as part of a “conspiracy to fabricate more than 7,000 false identities to obtain tens of thousands of credit cards,” Fishman said.
“Members of the conspiracy doctored credit reports to pump up the spending and borrowing power associated with the cards,” he said. “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.
“These debts were incurred at Dadlani’s jewelry store, among many other locations, where Dadlani would allow fraudulently obtained credit cards to be swiped in phony transactions.”
Fishman described a three-step process in which the conspirators created bogus ID documents and creid profiles, then pumped up the credit of the false identity with bogus information about its credit-worthiness and ran up huge charges.
The conspirators maintained more than 1,800 drop addresses nationwide — including houses, apartments and post office boxes — that they used as the mailing addresses for the phony identities.
U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson set sentencing for Sept. 24.
Fishman praised special agents of the FBI’s Cyber Division, as well as inspectors from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and special agents of the U.S. Secret Service.
He also thanked the U.S. Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations in New Jersey for its assisting.
Handling the case for the government are Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zach Intrater and Daniel V. Shapiro of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit and Barbara Ward of the office’s Asset Forfeiture Unit in Newark.
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