NEWARK – A Long Island man charged in what federal authorities called one of the largest credit card fraud cases they’ve ever prosecuted made his first appearance in U.S. District Court on Monday, nearly four years after he was first charged in the case.
Habib Chaudhry was one of 18 people first charged by the FBI in February, 2013 in connection with what authorities described as an elaborate scheme that involved creating false identities, inflating their creditworthiness and borrowing or spending against them without repaying the debts.
He’s charged with bank fraud conspiracy under a September, 2013 indictment in the U.S. District Court in Newark.
Prosecutors say the scheme, which cost business and financial institutions more than $200 million, was one of the largest ever charged by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Chaudhry, 49, listened attentively through an interpreter Monday as U.S. District Judge Leda Dunn Wettre walked him through the proceedings.
While a total of 19 people have pleaded guilty in connection with the alleged fraud scheme, authorities say, Chaudhry, of Valley Stream, N.Y., remained at large until just recently, when he was arrested on the 2013 indictment.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office did not indicate where Chaudhry was finally taken into custody.