2 American PIOs get jail term for massive credit card fraud
Two Indian-American jewelry store owners have been sentenced by a New Jersey court to over a year in jail and a year of house arrest in a $200 million international credit card fraud scheme, one of the largest ever charged by US authorities.
Vijay Verma, 49, and Tarsem Lal, 78, owners of a jewelry store in New Jersey, have been sentenced to 14 months in prison and 12 months of home confinement, respectively, the Acting US Attorney William E Fitzpatrick said.
Both had earlier pleaded guilty to the charges.
Verma and Lal were indicted in October 2013 as part of a scheme to fabricate more than 7,000 false identities to obtain tens of thousands of credit cards.
According to court documents, participants in the scheme doctored credit reports to pump up the spending and borrowing power associated with the cards.
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, federal prosecutors alleged.
These debts were incurred at Verma's jewelry store, among many other locations, where Verma would allow fraudulently obtain credit cards to be swiped in phony transactions, court papers said.
Each of them have been fined $5,000 and ordered to pay forfeiture of $451,259.