Fourteen men who participated in a criminal ring engaged in conspiracy to commit credit card fraud, bank fraud, mortgage fraud, and identity theft have been arrested in New York:
Ezaz Kabir Choudhury, a/k/a “Ezaz Kabir Chowdhury,” Zia Alam, Rashed Ahmed, Firoz Milon, Mohd Altaf, Mohammed Z. Alam, Shajahan Kabal, Mohammed M. Miah, Shamsul Afrin, Manjur Alam, Mohammed Kawsher, Mazharul Karim Mamun, Azm M. Sarwar, and Matiar Rahman. The defendants were presented in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Theodore H. Katz. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Kimba M. Wood.
According to the Indictment filed in Manhattan federal court:
From approximately 1999 to 2011, the defendants engaged in a large scale credit card and bank fraud conspiracy based in Manhattan and Queens, New York. The scheme involved using various collusive merchants to fraudulently charge credit cards for goods and services that were never actually provided.
The defendants also engaged in a conspiracy to defraud various financial institutions by obtaining mortgages, loans, lines of credit, and opening bank accounts using fictitious or stolen personal identifying information. For example, Choudhury and Zia Alam obtained both a mortgage and a home equity loan, totaling over $500,000, using a fictitious name, fictitious social security number, and other fictitious personal identifying information. Also, in November 2010, defendants Choudhury, Zia Alam, and Rahman, stole the identity of another individual and used that information to obtain a bank loan and various credit cards in that individual’s name.
Various banks were also defrauded through check kiting schemes. During the course of the scheme, Ahmed discussed his ability to purchase bank routing numbers from a bank employee and Miah discussed his ability to produce counterfeit bank checks to conduct a check kiting scheme.
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Janice K. Fedarcyk, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced the arrests.
Mr. Bharara praised the work of the FBI. He also noted that the investigation is continuing.
The case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Natalie Lamarque is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.