Eighteen people have been charged in what US prosecutors have called one of the largest credit card fraud schemes ever.
"The defendants are part of a massive international fraud enterprise involving thousands of false identities, fraudulent identification documents, doctored credit reports and more than $200 million in confirmed losses," FBI Special Agent James Simpson said in court records.
According to court records, the scheme spanned 28 states and eight countries and involved three basic steps.
The accused allegedly created thousands of fake identities, then created fictitious credit histories for the identities and then fraudulently obtained credit cards and made millions of dollars worth of charges on the cards.
"Due to the massive scope of the fraud, which involved over 25,000 fraudulent credit cards, loss calculations are ongoing and final confirmed losses may grow substantially," Simpson said.
According to estimates, the group stole $200 million.