States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|March 8, 2011||
BRIDGEPORT MAN CHARGED WITH OPERATING CREDIT “BUST-OUT” SCHEME
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that MOHAMMED TAKHTARAWANJI, also known as “Abu Terak,” 58, of Tampa, Florida, formerly of Bridgeport, was arrested yesterday, March 7, on a federal criminal complaint charging him with engaging in a credit card “bust out” scheme.
According to the allegations set forth in the criminal complaint, TAKHTARAWANJI, for a fee, assisted individuals in obtaining money from their credit cards and credit accounts far beyond their credit limits. It is alleged that TAKHTARAWANJI instructed individuals to charge all of their credit accounts up to or over their available credit limit and then provide their account information to TAKHTARAWANJI. TAKHTARAWANJI then assisted individuals with the submission of fraudulent or insufficiently funded checks to the credit issuers. Once received by the credit issuers, and the payments were posted to the individuals’ accounts, the individuals’ credit balance was temporarily reduced, thereby allowing the individuals to draw on the credit lines further before the credit issuers discovered that the posted payments were fraudulent. After the individuals’ credit was fully “busted out,” the individuals often fled the country.
It is alleged that credit providers have lost approximately $465,000 as a result of this scheme.
Following his arrest, TAKHTARAWANJI appeared before United States Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel in Bridgeport and was detained pending a detention hearing that is scheduled for March 10, 2011 at 11:30 a.m.
TAKHTARAWANJI is charged with conspiring to commit, and committing, wire fraud. If convicted of the charges, he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by special agents and forensic accountants from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s JTTF. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen B. Reynolds.
U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
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