An Iselin, New Jersey, man of South Asian origin, was sentenced Jan. 25, to 46 months in prison for his role in one of the largest credit card fraud schemes ever charged by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Babar Qureshi, 63, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge at a Trenton federal court Anne E. Thompson to Count One of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to commit bank fraud. In addition to the prison term, Judge Thompson sentenced Qureshi to five years of supervised release.
He was originally charged in February 2013 as part of an 18-person ring which fabricated more than 7,000 false identities to procure tens of thousands of credit cards. The scam spanned at least 8 countries including Pakistan, India, China, Romania, and Japan, and spread over some 28 states in the U.S., and about 80 fake companies. Several of those accused and charged were of South Asian origin. The scheme involved a three-step process that included making up a false identity by creating fraudulent identification documents and a fraudulent credit profile with the major credit bureaus; pumping up the credit of the false identity by providing false information about that identity’s creditworthiness to those credit bureaus; and finally, run up large loans.
His co-conspirators and Qureshi constructed an elaborate network of false identities and maintained more than 1,800 “drop addresses,” across the country which included houses, apartments and post office boxes, which they used as the mailing addresses of the false identities.
Qureshi’s role in the conspiracy was to take the phony cards and charge large amounts at complicit merchants, who would then pay him a portion of the charge. He used phony bank accounts to conceal his involvement and receive proceeds from the fraud, which he used for personal expenses, including his mortgage, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul Fishman.