More Than 100 Arrests In Queens Identity Theft, Counterfeit Credit Card Ring

Operation Described As The Largest Of Its Kind In The Nation

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The takedown of an identity theft and counterfeit credit card ring based in South Ozone Park, Queens is being described as the largest of its kind in the nation, with 111 defendants indicted following a two-year probe dubbed “Operation Swiper.”

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports

Bank tellers, restaurant workers and other service employees in New York City are among those accused of stealing to pay for luxury shopping sprees, stays at 5-star hotels and travel in rented Lamborghinis, Porsches and private jets, CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported.

Authorities said there were five distinct groups running the identity theft and credit card scams and that they often worked with each other. Undercover cops and wiretaps were used to bust the alleged crime ring, which involved the re-selling of high-end electronics, watches and more.

Web Extra: Tips On Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft

Police searched several homes and seized computers, packaged electronics, weapons and $650,000 in cash.

“These weren’t hold-ups at gunpoint but the impact on victims was the same,” NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. “They were robbed.”

According to police, the scam worked by giving data stolen from swiped credit cards to a team of manufacturers, who made phony credit cards and identifications.

In addition to having the material to make the phony cards, the accused often utilized bank employees to identify high-end clients, according to authorities. They’d also give retail store employees skimmers to steal information off a customer’s card.

WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell With Comment From Ray Kelly

The suspects are accused of spending more than $13 million on their shopping sprees.

“Even after the culprits are caught and prosecuted, their victims are still faced with the difficult task of having to repair their credit ratings and financial reputations,” District Attorney Richard Brown said. “In some cases, that process can take years.”

Kelly and Brown said Friday the group had ties to Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Have you ever been a victim of identity theft? Let us know below

  • thenervedoc

    I live out of state yet somehow thieves in the New York City area – Staten Island, and Hartsdale – managed to steal $13000. from my bank account in a prominent nationwide bank over the past 4 weeks. I have always thought this was an inside job. I would like to civilly sue the responsible parties for the trouble, time, and emotional distress they have caused me. Any interested lawyers?

  • Jerry

    Round em all up, and have them jailed to clean up the city for life.
    Bring back the chain gang

  • BankOwnedWaterfrontHomes

    Way to go NYPD!

  • Reverend Rev

    So THIS is how the protesters downtown are making their money!!

  • bullett

    One can never be to sure of protecting their idenity, as it shows even bank tellers were in on the idenity theft.

  • navin r. johnson

    the bottom line is this; why do black people tip so poorly in restraunts???

  • Dr Meh

    Queens should be obliterated, that place is a bung hole

  • Deborah Beaudoin-Zaki

    My identity was stolen. Bank of RI reported this to me when asked if I was making charges all over California. I think they charged $3,000.00. My accountant told me more than $500,000.00 was lost in my retirement account savings! What was considered criminal the $3,000.00, yet nobody investigated what happened with over a half a million dollars. We have all been robbed, yet when you are an insider it doesn’t count. Someone must have been paid off big time with the S&L losses and bail outs!

  • Deborah Beaudoin-Zaki

    This appears a fraction of the rip off that was done by Wall Street executives, bankers, and traders to the USA people. I hope this means that there will soon be raids on the Wall Street Barrons that stole the USA workers monies! Ship the bankers off to Federal Prisons!

  • Julie

    On Oprah Show…she interviewed this female subjected to identity theft..the thief was sought in Africa caught and charged for stealing…

  • VF

    Our theif was caught and he was Russian!

  • Nag Nig

    Same thing happened to me…But they shopped at Walgreens, got a UHaul in CT, and got a haircut at Hairmart, so I assume they were black

    • Johnny Handsome

      A U Hail in Ct would means they had to use a drivers license to rent it and the name had to match the name on the card – so it had to be someone with your last name. But then again, you’re too dumb to have a credit card and how could you pay it off with welfare checks?

    • DIVA

      grow up and stop assuming. that’s the freaking problem today. the thieves who stole and used my info were from different races.

    • John D

      when it happened to me they shopped for bras in Macy’s, had lunch at Olive Garden, bought a camera in Best Buy, and bought wine at Buy-Rite. That’s why I suspected it was your mother… Dope

      • LU

        Use another forum to vent your frustration, idiot.

  • teetotaler

    Just a small cog in a big wheel of international criminals

  • itduzz

    Narayee Takbeer – ALLAH HU AKBAR

  • DIVA


    Several years ago, somehow, my bank info was stolen. They ordered mostly over the WWW. After a long investigation, it was concluded, the theft lived in QUEENS,.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live