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Market Developments

Retailer pleads guilty in credit card fraud scheme

By Brecken Branstrator

June 20, 2014

Trenton, N.J.--A New Jersey jewelry store owner who allowed fake credit cards to be used for phony transactions in his store has pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Jersey.

Vinod Dadlani, the 51-year-old owner of Tanishq Jewels in Jersey City, N.J., originally was indicted in October 2013 as part of a conspiracy to create more than 7,000 false identities to obtain tens of thousands of credit cards. 

During the guilty plea proceeding, Dadlani admitted to working with other conspirators, allowing them to swipe cards he knew didn’t legitimately belong to them at his store and splitting the proceeds of the phony transactions with the conspirators.

The scheme involved three steps, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

They first created fraudulent identification documents and fraudulent credit profiles with major credit bureaus, maintaining more than 1,800 “drop addresses,” including houses, apartments and post office boxes, to use as mailing addresses for the false identities. 

They would doctor the credit reports to increase the spending and borrowing power associated with the credit cards. The conspirators then would borrow or spend as much as they could based on the phony credit history, without repaying the debts.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey said the perpetrators of this scheme caused more than $200 million in confirmed losses to business and financial institutions. Many other locations were affected in addition to the debts incurred at Dadlani’s store, where he would allow them to run the fraudulently obtained cards in phony transactions.

He is scheduled for sentencing by U.S. District Judge Anne Thompson on Sept. 24, where he faces a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, or twice the gain or loss caused by the offense. 

Dadlani’s guilty plea makes him the 17th conspirator in the case to come forward. Three additional men involved with two other jewelry stores near Dadlani’s in Jersey City also have been charged in the scheme.