By David Madden
TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — The feds are calling it one of the largest cases of credit card fraud they’ve ever prosecuted.
Eighteen people — one from Philadelphia and the rest from North Jersey and New York State — are now facing individual counts of bank fraud.
That may not sound like much, until you consider they allegedly gained over $200 million from credit card companies, using more than 7,000 phony IDs and 1,800 drop locations across America.
It cost millions just to keep that network up, according to authorities. Much of the money was funneled through other countries, from Canada to Pakistan.
The US attorney in Newark, NJ, who is handling the case, says proceeds from the scams went toward the purchase of high-end items such as luxury cars, expensive clothes, and millions in gold (with the help of some North Jersey jewelers).
One defendant was found with more than $70,000 in cash in his possession, stashed in the oven of his home.