Four sentenced in NJ for their role in $30 million international bank fraud and ID theft ring

Four of 17 defendants, all of whom were convicted of conspiring to engage in an international telemarketing and identity theft scheme to defraud financial institutions and tens of thousands of account holders out of millions of dollars through the unauthorized debit of customer bank accounts (the “Telemarketing and Identity Theft Conspiracy”), were sentenced by United States District Court Judge Garrett E. Brown last week.

Shaun Rosiere, of Evergreen, Colorado, who pleaded guilty on September 17, 2009, was sentenced to 73 months of imprisonment and $1,768,690 in restitution. Diego Hernandez, of Miami, Florida, who was convicted by a federal jury on February 16, 2010 of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud; one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud; three counts of substantive wire fraud; and three counts of aggravated identity theft, was sentenced to 61 months of imprisonment and $52,877 in victim restitution. Robert Agostini, of Miami, Florida, who pleaded guilty on August 13, 2008, was sentenced to four months of home confinement, four months in a residential incarceration facility, five years of probation, and $251,927.99 in victim restitution. Jan Ludvik, who pleaded guilty to the conspiracy on May 21, 2009, as well as a separate conspiracy to defraud financial institutions and their account holders out of millions of dollars via the unauthorized debit of their accounts, was sentenced to 82 months of imprisonment. The Court adjourned determined of restitution until a later date.

Co-conspirators Siamak Saleki, 43, and Jan Ludvik, 26, a.k.a. “Thomas Palmer,” both of Montreal, Canada, were responsible for collecting and providing the names and personal banking account information of unsuspecting consumers to their co-conspirators in the United States. Rosiere, Hernandez, Agostini and other co-conspirators then charged the accounts of these unwitting victims using false and fraudulent demand drafts (checks not actually written by the customers, but instead generated by the co-conspirators), or Account Clearinghouse (“ACH”) debits. The majority of these fraudulent transactions subsequently were reversed through the banking system because they were drawn upon accounts that were nonexistent, closed, contained insufficient funds, or because customers alerted their bank in time to reverse the transaction. A smaller yet still significant percentage of the debits and withdrawals were not returned to the bank because the victim did not alert the bank in time to reverse the transaction.

In addition to the restitution ordered by Judge Brown, the government already has seized close to $2 million in illegal proceeds.

Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Newark

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