Essex County Man Sentenced to 82 Months in Prison for Using Credit Cards Stolen from U.S. Mail to Defraud Banks and Commit Identity Theft
TRENTON, N.J. – A North Brunswick, New Jersey, man today admitted his role in a conspiracy to hijack the credit card accounts of multiple victims in order to fraudulently purchase hundreds of thousands of dollars in high-end products, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Henry Abdul, 31, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Between October 2015 and January 2018, Abdul, Alexus Omowole, 22, also of North Brunswick, and others participated in a conspiracy to obtain control of credit card accounts by, among other things, contacting the relevant financial institution and posing as the account owner in order to change the personal information associated with the customer accounts, including the residential address, email address, and telephone number.
Afterwards, members of the conspiracy opened new accounts or ordered replacement cards to be shipped to them without the customers' knowledge or authorization. Abdul’s prior residential address in Newark was used as part of the conspiracy. Afterwards, Abdul, Omowole and others used the compromised credit card accounts to purchase high-value items, including smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices.
As part of his plea agreement, Abdul admitted that the scheme caused between $250,000 and $550,000 in losses, and involved more than 10 separate victims.
The bank fraud conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The aggravated identity theft charge carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison, which must run consecutive to any other term of imprisonment imposed. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 28, 2018.
On May 21, 2018, Omowole pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept.10, 2018.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited postal inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Judy Ramos, and special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, 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. Attorneys Nicholas P. Grippo and David M. Eskew, Chief of U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care and Government Fraud in Newark.
Defense counsel: Patrick McMahon Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark