Leader of $200 Million Credit Card Fraud Scheme Pleads Guilty
Tahir Lodhi ran a complex scheme that leveraged more than 7,000 false identities to run up over $200 million in fraudulent credit card charges.
Tahir Lodhi, 53, of Hicksville, N.Y., recently pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud in connection with a massive credit card fraud scheme.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Lodhi directed several other conspirators in fabricating over 7,000 false identities to obtain tens of thousands of credit cards, doctoring credit reports to maximize those cards' credit limits. Their use of those cards then caused more than $200 million in losses to banks and businesses.
Lodhi and his conspirators apparently maintained more than 1,800 drop addresses nationwide which they used as the mailing addresses for the false identities, and purchased credit card terminals for fake companies, which they used to run up charges on the fraudulently obtained credit cards. They also used the fake companies to improve the credit history of their more than 7,000 fake identities.
The group also were helped by legitimate businesses, including several New Jersey jewelry stores, which allowed them to process fake transactions on their credit cards, then split the proceeds.
Lodhi and his conspirators used the proceeds of their activities to buy luxury cars, electronics, spa treatments, expensive clothing and millions of dollars in gold. They also wired millions of dollars overseas to accounts in Canada, Romania, China, Japan, Pakistan, India, and the United Arab Emirates.
Lodhi faces a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million or twice the gain or loss caused by the offense. He's scheduled for sentencing on October 1, 2013.