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11 Charged In $3M Credit Card 'Bust Out' Scheme

Federal Court in Brooklyn.
Federal Court in Brooklyn. Photo Credit: File

Eleven suspects were charged in Brooklyn federal court for their roles in a multi-million dollar “bust out” scheme.

US Attorney Richard Donoghue announced this week that 11 suspects have been charged in a scheme to defraud banks by using fake, or “synthetic,” identities to obtain credit cards, and making approximately $3 million in charges that were never repaid.

Three of the suspects were also charged for a money laundering conspiracy which was designed to conceal the scheme.

Between January 2013 and December 2017, the 11 allegedly used synthetic identities created by using different types of personal identification information - names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers - from different people to create fake identities and obtain credit cards from banks.

According to court filings, they then used those cards for expenditures that they had no intention to repay, including mortgages on three homes in Queens. The suspects also used shell companies - which did little or no actual business - to record hundreds of thousands of dollars on the credit cards. They then received payment for the fake transactions from financial institutions and credit card processors.

Donoghue said that nine of the suspects were arrested on Wednesday, June 26, and eight have made their initial appearances in court and were released on bond. One suspect was scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, and two have not been taken into custody.

Those charged were:

  • Mohammed Akhtar, 43, of Flushing;
  • Hafeez Ali, 54, of Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn;
  • Shaila Khondkar, 48, of Jamaica;
  • Rahader Thiara, 42, of Queens Village;
  • Perminder Chiara, 40, of Queens Village;
  • Nadezhda Epshteyn, 44, of Rockaway Park;
  • Cyrus Shroff, 45, of Rockaway Park;
  • Zainoelbaks Karimbux, 50, of Bellrose;
  • Gursimardeep Sing, 34, of the Bronx;
  • Anis Khan, 32, of Sheepshead Bay, and;
  • Daljeet Singh - also known as Akhtar Iqbal - 46, of College Point.

Each of the suspects has been charged with access device fraud. Khondkar, Bahader Thiara, Perminder Thiara have also been charged with money laundering. If convicted, those charged with access device fraud face up to 10 years in prison, and up to 20 years for money laundering conspiracy.

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