LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States …

LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and ANDREW CUOMO, the Attorney General of the State of New York, announced today the unsealing
of an Indictment charging 15 individuals with crimes including
producing fake identification documents, using those documents to
commit various fraud crimes, and selling and transporting stolen
vehicles. As alleged in the sixteen-count Indictment returned by
the grand jury in Manhattan federal court:

The defendants and their co-conspirators produced false
identification documents purporting to have been issued by state
and federal government authorities, including driver’s licenses,
resident alien cards, social security cards, and tax
identification documents. The false identification documents
were produced in the names of fraudulent identities, to which the
defendants referred as “chickens.” In order to build financial
credit for these fake identities, the defendants, among other
things, fraudulently established bank accounts, credit card
accounts, apartment leases, and telephone and utility accounts in
the names of the “chickens.”

The defendants also applied for and
obtained lucrative bank loans, home mortgage loans, increased
credit card limits, and other financial benefits in the names of
the “chicken” identities or in the names of sham businesses
supposedly operated by those fraudulent identities. The
defendants and their co-conspirators then defaulted on the loans
and credit card debt, causing at least $10 million in losses to
numerous financial institutions.

In the course of the scheme, the defendants and their
co-conspirators designated certain physical addresses as the
mailing addresses for the “chicken” credit card accounts, and
regularly monitored the mail at those addresses for incoming
credit cards and account statements in the false names. They
then used these cards to pay bills, make purchases, and obtain
cash advances, often charging the maximum (or above the maximum)
amount allowed on the cards and then defaulting on the bill.
Additionally, four of the defendants — TAHIR ALI KHAN,
SYED HASSAN, FRANKLIN RODRIGUEZ, AND BASHARAL JARRAL — are
charged with stolen vehicle offenses involving luxury cars such
as Hummers and a Porsche Cayenne.

Breakdown of Defendants and Penalties by Charge
Charge Named Defendants Maximum Penalty
Count One: Conspiracy to Commit Identification
Document Fraud
TAHIR ALI KHAN
FAYYAZ AHMED
ARIE BENSHIMON
MUHAMMAD ISHAQ
NADEEM KHAN
GHULAM MEHMOOD
SHAHEEN MUKHTAR
QAISER QURESHI
SYED SHAH
OSCAR SANCHEZ
PRADIPT SHARMA
15 years’ imp.; 3 years’
S.R.; fine of $250,000
or twice the gross
gain/loss; $100 S.A.;
restitution.
Count Two: Production of
False ID Documents
TAHIR ALI KHAN
ARIE BENSHIMON
MUHAMMAD ISHAQ
NADEEM KHAN
GHULAM MEHMOOD
SHAHEEN MUKHTAR
QAISER QURESHI
OSCAR SANCHEZ
SYED SHAH
PRADIPT SHARMA
15 years’ imp.; 3 years’
S.R.; fine of $250,000
or twice the gross
gain/loss; $100 S.A.;
restitution.
Count Three: Use of
False ID Documents to
Commit Other Crimes
TAHIR ALI KHAN
ARIE BENSHIMON
MUHAMMAD ISHAQ
NADEEM KHAN
GHULAM MEHMOOD
SHAHEEN MUKHTAR
QAISER QURESHI
OSCAR SANCHEZ
SYED SHAH
PRADIPT SHARMA
15 years’ imp.; 3 years’
S.R.; fine of $250,000
or twice the gross
gain/loss; $100 S.A.;
restitution.
Count Four: Aggravated
ID Theft
TAHIR ALI KHAN
ARIE BENSHIMON
MUHAMMAD ISHAQ
NADEEM KHAN
GHULAM MEHMOOD
SHAHEEN MUKHTAR
QAISER QURESHI
OSCAR SANCHEZ
SYED SHAH
PRADIPT SHARMA
2 years’ imp., mandatory
minimum consecutive
Count Five: Conspiracy
to Commit Access Device
Fraud
TAHIR ALI KHAN
FAYYAZ AHMED
NAVEED ALI BHINDAR
MUHAMMAD ISHAQ
GHULAM MEHMOOD
QAISER QURESHI
OSCAR SANCHEZ
SYED SHAH
10 years’ imp.; 3 years’
S.R.; fine of $250,000
or twice the gross
gain/loss; $100 S.A.;
restitution
Count Six: Access Device
Fraud
TAHIR ALI KHAN
FAYYAZ AHMED
NAVEED ALI BHINDAR
MUHAMMAD ISHAQ
GHULAM MEHMOOD
QAISER QURESHI
OSCAR SANCHEZ
SYED SHAH
10 years’ imp.; 3 years’
S.R.; fine of $250,000
or twice the gross
gain/loss; $100 S.A.;
restitution.
Count Seven: Conspiracy
to commit bank fraud
TAHIR ALI KHAN
FAYYAZ AHMED
MUHAMMAD ISHAQ
GHULAM MEHMOOD
OSCAR SANCHEZ
SYED SHAH
PRADIPT SHARMA
30 years’ imp.; 3 years’
S.R.; fine of $250,000
or twice the gross
gain/loss; $100 S.A.;
restitution.
Count Eight: Bank fraud TAHIR ALI KHAN
MUHAMMAD ISHAQ
GHULAM MEHMOOD
OSCAR SANCHEZ
SYED SHAH
PRADIPT SHARMA
30 years’ imp.; 3 years’
S.R.; fine of $250,000
or twice the gross
gain/loss; $100 S.A.;
restitution.
Count Nine: Conspiracy
to commit wire fraud
TAHIR ALI KHAN
ARIE BENSHIMON
GHULAM MEHMOOD
SHAHEEN MUKHTAR
30 years’ imp.; 3 years’
S.R.; fine of $250,000
or twice the gross
gain/loss; $100 S.A.;
restitution.
Count Ten: Wire fraud TAHIR ALI KHAN
ARIE BENSHIMON
GHULAM MEHMOOD
SHAHEEN MUKHTAR
30 years’ imp.; 3 years’
S.R.; fine of $250,000
or twice the gross
gain/loss; $100 S.A.;
restitution.
Count Eleven: Conspiracy
to commit money
laundering
NAVEED ALI BHINDAR
GHULAM MEHMOOD
SYED SHAH
20 years’ imp.; 3 years’
S.R.; fine of $250,000
or twice the gross
gain/loss; $100 S.A.;
restitution.
Count Twelve: Money
laundering
TAHIR ALI KHAN
SYED HASSAN
FRANKLIN RODRIGUEZ
BASHARAT JARRAL
20 years’ imp.; 3 years’
S.R.; fine of $250,000
or twice the gross
gain/loss; $100 S.A.;
restitution.
Count Thirteen:
Conspiracy to sell,
transport, and receive
stolen vehicles
TAHIR ALI KHAN
SYED HASSAN
FRANKLIN RODRIGUEZ
BASHARAT JARRAL
5 years’ imp.; 3 years’
S.R.; fine of $250,000
or twice the gross
gain/loss; $100 S.A.;
restitution
Count Fourteen:
Transportation of stolen
vehicles
TAHIR ALI KHAN
SYED HASSAN
FRANKLIN RODRIGUEZ
BASHARAT JARRAL
10 years’ imp.; 3 years’
S.R.; fine of $250,000
or twice the gross
gain/loss; $100 S.A.;
restitution.
Count Fifteen: Sale and
receipt of stolen
vehicles
TAHIR ALI KHAN
SYED HASSAN
FRANKLIN RODRIGUEZ
BASHARAT JARRAL
10 years’ imp.; 3 years’
S.R.; fine of $250,000
or twice the gross
gain/loss; $100 S.A.;
restitution.
Count Sixteen: Visa
fraud
TAHIR ALI KHAN 10 years’ imp.; 3 years’
S.R.; fine of $250,000
or twice the gross
gain/loss; $100 S.A.;
restitution.
TAHIR ALI KHAN is 30 years old, and resides in Alabama.
FAYYAZ AHMED is 40 years old, and is currently held at
Riker’s Island, New York.
ARIE BENSHIMON is 35 years old and resides in Monsey,
New York.
NAVEED ALI BHINDAR is 43 years old resides in Valley
Stream, New York.
SYED HASSAN is 33 years old and resides in Staten
Island, New York.
MUHAMMAD ISHAQ is 34 years old and resides in Brooklyn,
New York.
BASHARAT JARRAL is 49 years old and resides in
Elmhurst, New York.
NADEEM KHAN is 24 years old and resides in Brooklyn,
New York.
GHULAM MEHMOOD is 40 years old and resides in Cartaret,
New Jersey.
SHAHEEN MUKHTAR is 53 years old and resides in
Voorhees, New Jersey.
QAISER QURESHI is 53 years old and resides in Queens,
New York.
FRANKLIN RODRIGUEZ is 21 years old and resides in
Brooklyn, New York.
SYED SHAH is 23 years old and resides in Brooklyn, New
York.
OSCAR SANCHEZ is 37 years old and resides in Brooklyn,
New York.
PRADIPT SHARMA is 31 years old and resides in Brooklyn,
New York.

The filing of these charges is the culmination of a
16-month investigation conducted by the New York State Attorney
General’s Office with the New York City Police Department, New
York State Police, the Hoover, Alabama Police Department, and the
New York State Banking Department. Valuable assistance was
provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department
of Homeland Security’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,
the United States Postal Inspection Service, the New York State
Department of Motor Vehicles, the New York City Department of
Probation, the Social Security Administration, and the United
States Secret Service.

Mr. GARCIA praised the Attorney General’s Office and
the federal, state and local law enforcement agencies for their
outstanding work in the investigation.
Mr. GARCIA stated: “Through the cooperation of federal
and state prosecutors, and the investigative work of federal,
state and local agencies, we have dismantled a fraud ring of 15
defendants who used false identities to obtain at least $10
million through a wide variety of scams.”

“These defendants are charged with creating a
comprehensive system of fraud for ripping off businesses to
satisfy their own greed. One of these individuals is even
charged with attempting to purchase $10,000 worth of Lowe’s gift
cards using a credit card obtained through a false identity,”
said Mr. CUOMO. “Our investigators spent over a year monitoring
the conspirators and tirelessly compiling evidence to expose
these illegal activities. I applaud their hard work, which was a
critical part of this investigation and essential in uncovering
these crimes.”

Assistant United States Attorneys LISA ZORNBERG and
ELIE HONIG, and Assistant Attorney General MERYL LUTSKY — who is
designated as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in this case —
are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely
accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and
until proven guilty.

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