John Petrick reports:
A Clifton woman pleaded guilty in state court Wednesday to her role in a complex scheme run from the Passaic County Jail that stole the identities of inmates to fraudulently obtain more than $450,000 from American Express and others.
Rania Al-Monakel, 34, will have to serve 365 days in the county jail and 3 to 5 years of probation when sentenced on March 26.
Two indictments handed up in June by a Passaic County grand jury charged that Issa and Ibrahim, while inmates in the county jail, obtained the identities of other inmates by looking at the jail’s library logs. Al-Monakel admitted during her plea before Reddin that Ibrahim then called her from the jail and had her place third-party calls to American Express. (Calls can only be made collect from the jail, thus requiring Al-Monakel’s assistance to reach outside parties targeted to be scammed).
Ibrahim then fraudulently obtained credit cards from American Express using those inmates’ identities, and obtained credit card swiping machines by pretending to be legitimate businesses looking to honor AmEx cards. The cards would then be run through the machines, and the proceeds would subsequently be deposited into Bank of America accounts set up through fraudulent means and later drawn upon by the defendants.
Read more in The Record.