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Saturday, May 25, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Credit Card Scam|Busted Up, Feds Say

MANHATTAN (CN) - Two Brooklyn men were arrested Wednesday and charged with running a $6 million Internet-based credit card fraud scam in which, among other things, they bought $100,000 worth of EZ Pass tags and credits, and resold them, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Rana Khandakar and Ussawan Saelim, both 27, also "created a bogus website that lured customers into purchasing products that they never received," prosecutors said in a statement.

"These defendants essentially operated a high-tech skimming operation, cleverly updated for the Internet era," the U.S. attorney said in the statement. "They allegedly used stolen credit card accounts, phony websites with catchy names like Dr. EZ Pass, and bogus online merchant accounts to trap victims in an elaborate web of cyber fraud. As alleged in the complaint, these two cyber criminals attempted a $6 million credit and debit card fraud scheme, netting themselves $4 million in luxury goods, services, and cash. As part of the scheme, they allegedly lured customers into buying discount EZ pass tags from a website that was nothing more than a high-tech 'fence' for EZ pass tags they purchased using stolen credit card information."

The men used at least 50 stolen American Express cards in the EZ Pass scam and "compromised" more than 1,400 credit and debit cards, and tried to charge more than $6 million to them, according to prosecutor's statement.

Both men are accused with conspiracy to commit access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft. If convicted of both charges, they face up to 9½ years in federal prison.

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