A 32 year-old former trainee dishwasher (how can you be a trainee dishwasher?) has pleaded guilty to masterminding what investigators believe is the largest identity theft scam ever attempted.
Abraham Abdallah, a high-school dropout and restaurant worker, obtained the personal details of top figures in Hollywood and Wall Street (including Steven Spielberg and Microsoft's Paul Allen) to obtain fraudulent loans in their name and scam credit companies. Court documents filed in New York charge that he used this information, and details of US corporates and financial institutions, in a scam designed to net up to $80 million.
Yesterday Abdallah pleaded guilty to a 12-count indictment charging him with wire, mail and credit card fraud, identity theft and conspiracy The case made news after a similar state prosecution last year which alleged that Abdallah used computers in public libraries and the phone to get credit records of numerous celebrities including Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and Steven Spielberg.
He was accused of obtaining illegal access to stock and bank accounts belonging to billionaire investor Warren Buffett and the accounts of George Lucas, Oprah Winfrey, Ross Perot and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. At the time of his arrest in March last year, Abdallah had 800 fraudulent credit cards and 20,000 blank credit cards.
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News source: The Reg