Bergen County Woman Admits To Illegally Using Individuals’ Identities To Obtain More Than $300,000
NEWARK, N.J. – A Bergen County, New Jersey, woman today admitted engaging in a fraudulent scheme through which over $300,000 in purchases were charged or attempted to be charged to victims’ financial accounts without authorization, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Briana Burford, 25, of Fort Lee, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi in Newark federal court to an information charging her with wire fraud.
According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:
From October 2018 through December 2018, Burford made four Bitcoin transactions. The Bitcoin were sent to accounts associated with carding websites, which are websites that engage in the trafficking of stolen or otherwise illegally obtained credit card, bank account and other personal identification information, as well as services and tools that one can use to engage in fraudulent activity.
The two telephone numbers used to make the four Bitcoin transactions, along with other telephone numbers, were used to inquire about bank accounts that were later compromised and subject to fraud. On Aug. 31, 2018, one of the telephone numbers was used to contact a bank and inquire about a specific bank account. Later that day, Burford, without authorization, charged a purchase of approximately $9,000 to that bank account.
The wire fraud count carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for March 4, 2020.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations in Newark, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian Michael, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Kogan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Cybercrime Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Albert Y. Dayan Esq., Kew Gardens, New York