23 charged in counterfeit card scam

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Twenty-three individuals were charged in a New York federal court for their alleged role in a large-scale counterfeit credit card scheme.

An indictment (PDF) and complaint (PDF) charging the group was unsealed on Tuesday by law enforcement officials in the state.

The defendants are accused of obtaining more than 1,000 stolen credit and debit card numbers from at least June to December, by way of “computer intrusions” and carding websites, underground forums where credit card information is sold and exchanged.

A team of “shoppers” then made more than $2 million worth of unauthorized purchases throughout Texas, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and other areas in the United States.

“The conspirators obtained stolen credit/debit card information from computer hackers who remotely compromised databases containing credit/debit card numbers and/or from ‘carding' websites…,” the complaint said.

Of the 23 charged, 19 were arrested in Flushing, Queens in New York, while another defendant was apprehended in Los Angeles. One suspect was already in custody in New York for other charges, and defendants Bing Lin and Ling Fu Shi remain at large.

The defendants (listed here) range in age from 22 to 55, and have been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. If convicted, each individual could face up to nine-and-a-half years in prison.

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