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Long IslandCrime

Fugitive from Long Island arrested in major credit card fraud case, officials say

NEWARK, N.J. — A Valley Stream man has been arrested nearly four years after he was charged in what federal prosecutors called one of the largest credit card fraud schemes ever, costing businesses and banks more than $200 million in losses.

Habib Chaudhry, 49, surrendered to the FBI, federal prosecutors in New Jersey said Tuesday. Officials did not immediately say where Chaudhry was taken into custody.

Chaudhry was charged in February 2013 in a conspiracy to fabricate more than 7,000 false identities to obtain tens of thousands of credit cards. Prosecutors said 19 people have since pleaded guilty in the scheme.

Authorities said the defendants would create fraudulent identification documents and a phony credit profile and then spend or borrow as much as possible without repaying the debts.

The suspects maintained a network of more than 1,800 addresses for the false identities, authorities said.

Chaudhry was due to face arraignment in federal court in Trenton on Wednesday.

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