FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2012
Alleged Scheme Caused More than $300,000 in Losses in Two Months
NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, N.J., man allegedly involved in a scheme to illegally obtain and use duplicate credit cards was arrested this morning by special agents of the U.S. Secret Service and officers of the Essex County Sheriff’s Office on a Complaint outlining fraudulent purchases at a number of New Jersey stores, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Abdullah Bryant, 34, is charged with one count of bank fraud. He is expected to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court.
According to the Complaint unsealed today:
In the two-month period between September and November 2011, Chase Bank received numerous phone calls from individuals claiming to be card holders in need of duplicate cards. The callers were able to provide specific information, including the names and Social Security numbers of the real card holders, in order to deceive a bank representative. As a result, the bank issued approximately 21 duplicate credit cards during that time, which were sent to different addresses than those on the accounts and used to make nearly $306,000 in fraudulent purchases.
The fraudulently obtained cards were used to purchase, or in attempts to purchase, luxury items including jewelry and expensive electronic equipment – such as computers and 3D and HD TVs.
Law enforcement connected Bryant to numerous fraudulent transactions, including purchases made at Macy’s, Wal-Mart, Target and Kohl’s stores.
The bank fraud charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the U.S. Secret Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jacob Christine, and the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura, with the ongoing investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lorraine Gerson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charge and allegations made in the Complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: Assistant Federal Public Defender Candace Hom Esq., Newark