Lakewood man indicted in 8-million dollar credit card fraud scheme
A Lakewood man and his several aliases has been indicted along with a Utah man for running a fraud scheme where they obtained credit cards in the names of third parties and then bought items to build up reward points, monetize those points and then cancel the purchases.
U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced Friday that Aharon Lev, a/k/a “Aaron Lev,” a/k/a “Aron Lev,” a/k/a “David Gold,” a/k/a “David Monroe,” 33, of Lakewood and Timothy Gibson, 43, of Lehi, Utah, were charged via indictment with one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Lev is also charged by indictment with two counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.
Carpenito said that Lev was previously charged by complaint and released on bond to Israel and he is required to return to New Jersey by June 9, 2020, to be arraigned on the indictment.
Gibson, meanwhile, will make his initial appearance at a date to be determined.
Lev was recruiting people from August of 2014 through May of 2016, Carpenito stated, and asking them to give him their personal information, like names and Social Security numbers and in turn he would use that information to open small business accounts in their names with the unsuspecting credit card company.
Gibson then came on board and helped Lev use the accounts to make purchases and build up points so they can redeem frequent-flyer miles with various airlines.
When they were done traveling, Lev cancels the purchases and sold his points to Gibson who turned around and sold them to third parties to buy plane tickets.
In two years, Lev and Gibson cost the third party credit card company more than 8-million in fees paid to the airlines for acceptance of points for miles.
Fast forward to 2020, Lev and Gibson are looking at a couple decades in prison.
Each charge of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years , a $250,000 fine, restitution, and forfeiture.
Each charge of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison, to be served consecutive to any sentence on the wire-fraud and conspiracy charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah A. Sulkowski of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Cybercrime Unit in Newark.
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