TRENTON, N.J. – A New Jersey jewelry store owner who used his business to further one of the largest credit card fraud schemes ever charged by the Justice Department was sentenced today to 24 months in prison, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Vinod Dadlani, 53, of Lyndhurst, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Judge Thompson imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Dadlani was indicted in October 2013 as part of a conspiracy – led by Tahir Lodhi, Babar Qureshi, Ijaz Butt, and others – to fabricate more than 7,000 false identities to obtain tens of thousands of credit cards. Since then, 19 people, including Dadlani, have pleaded guilty in connection with the scheme.
The scheme involved a three-step process in which the defendants would make up a false identity by creating fraudulent identification documents and a phony credit profile with the major credit bureaus; pump up the credit of the false identity by providing bogus information about that identity’s creditworthiness; then borrowed or spent as much as they could without repaying the debts – causing more than $200 million in confirmed losses to businesses and financial institutions.
Many of these debts were incurred at Dadlani’s Jersey City, New Jersey, jewelry store, among many other locations. During his guilty plea proceeding, Dadlani admitted he worked with other conspirators who came to his store and allowed them to swipe cards he knew did not legitimately belong to them. Dadlani would then split the proceeds of the phony transactions with the conspirators.
The scope of the criminal fraud enterprise required Dadlani’s conspirators to construct an elaborate network of false identities. Across the country, the conspirators maintained more than 1,800 “drop addresses,” including houses, apartments and post office boxes, which they used as the mailing addresses for the false identities.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Thompson sentenced Dadlani to two years of supervised release and ordered him to pay forfeiture of $411,000.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Cyber Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. He also thanked postal inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge James V. Buthorn, Newark Division, special agents of the U.S. Secret Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Mark McKevitt, and the U.S. Social Security Administration for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zach Intrater and Daniel V. Shapiro of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit, as well as Assistant U.S.
Attorney Barbara Ward, Acting Chief of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Unit.
This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed nearly 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit www.stopfraud.gov.
Defense counsel: Vincent Sarubbi Esq., Haddonfield, New Jersey