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Press Release

Bergen County Man Charged in Large-Scale Identity Theft

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A Bergen County man was arrested today for his alleged role in a large-scale fraudulent credit card and fake identification making operation, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced. 

Michael Fulcher, 35, of Teaneck, New Jersey, was arrested this morning by special agents of the U.S. Secret Service and charged by complaint with one count each of possession of 15 or more counterfeit access devices, possession of access device-making equipment, and aggravated identity theft. He appeared by teleconference today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor and released on $100,000 unsecured bond.

According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On March 23, 2020, Fulcher was found to be in possession of identity theft and access device-making equipment in the attic of his Teaneck home. Law enforcement officers seized a large amount of equipment that was used to produce fraudulent credit cards, driver’s licenses, counterfeit money, and counterfeit identification cards. Fulcher had 4,920 counterfeit credit cards, 206 counterfeit driver’s licenses from 24 different states containing victims’ personal identifiable information along with unknown suspect photographs, several state’s holograms for driver’s licenses, devices used to read the data that is encoded on the magnetic strip of a credit card, devices used to re-encode data onto the magnetic strip of a credit card, printers designed to print plastic cards, and several laptop computers, hard drives, memory devices, and other electronic devices.

Law enforcement officers searched the electronic devices found in Fulcher’s home and found, among other things, templates to create credit cards, currency, and identification documents, including driver’s licenses, and spreadsheets containing thousands of unique credit card account numbers. 

The charge of possession of 15 or more counterfeit access devices carries a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The possession of access device-making machines charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, and the aggravated identity theft charge carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison, which must be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed. Each of the offenses also carries a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greater.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the U.S. Secret Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Mark McKevitt in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges and arrest. He also thanked the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations in Newark, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Teaneck Police Department for their assistance.

The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kendall Randolph of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Unit in Newark.

The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated May 13, 2020

Identity Theft
Press Release Number: 20-140