All seven conspirators have now been sentenced for stealing more than $5 million through a fraud scheme involving identity theft and credit card, bank and mortgage fraud, announced Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, following today’s sentencing of the final conspirator by United States District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema.
The scheme, led by Abdul Hameed, age 47, of Houston Texas, involved the use of at least 35 false identities to obtain approximately 200 credit card accounts and to open approximately 60 bank accounts. From about May 2005 to May 2007, Hameed and others used the false identities – representing individuals or businesses – to purchase properties, make other large purchases, conduct balance transfers and obtain substantial cash advances. The conspirators were all born in Pakistan and transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars from the scheme to accounts in Pakistan.
Hameed was sentenced on July 25, 2008, to 212 months in prison as the ringleader of the fraud scheme, and today Arshad Hussain, age 49, of Dumfries, Va., was sentenced to 24 months in prison after previously escaping to Pakistan and ultimately returning to the United States to face charges in this case. Other conspirators include:
- Bilal Saleem, age 29, of Woodbridge, Va., sentenced to 78 months in prison on Dec. 14, 2007.
- Naim Aslam Mann, age 34, of Baltimore, Md., sentenced to 45 months in prison on Dec. 14, 2007
- Basir Chand, age 45 of Springfield, Va., sentenced to 78 months in prison on Nov. 9, 2007
- Jawad Ahmad, age 43, of Ashburn, Va., sentenced to36 months in prison on Feb. 12, 2008
- Ozair Idris, age 37, of Tamarac, Fl., sentenced to 30 months in prison on Feb. 29, 2008.
Some sentences were later reduced by the court in recognition of the defendants’ assistance in investigating and prosecuting these offenses.
As detailed in court documents, the conspirators established multiple false businesses that were used to give the appearance that the false identities were employed by fabricating employment and salary documents for the false identities. The phony documents were then provided to credit card companies, leasing offices, mortgage companies, and financial institutions for the purpose of obtaining credit in the names of the false identities. Hameed and his co-conspirators also rented apartments and purchased properties using false identities. These locations were then used to receive mail from the lenders that was addressed to the false identities and false businesses. They also used these locations to receive shipments of goods purchased using credit cards in the names of the false identities.All the members of the conspiracy were ordered to pay forfeiture of $5 million and to repay more than $3 million in restitution to the victims.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys James P. Gillis, Gordon D. Kromberg, and Karen L. Taylor, and was investigated by a team of law enforcement agents from the FBI, the Fairfax County Police Department, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.