It is being billed as one of the biggest fraud and identity theft rings ever busted in New York, with over 100 people arrested, 85 currently in custody, and with others still being sought.
In total five separate criminal enterprises that were operating out of Queens were busted up resulting in hundreds of charges including identity theft, enterprise corruption, theft and grand larceny.
The ring had been in operation from at least 2010 and included employees at restaurants, at least one bank, a retail stores. These employees would steal the credit card numbers of customers and pass them along up the chain. Additionally members of the ring would steal card information online.
The collected numbers were then given to teams of card and information manufacturers who would then forge various credit cards as well as other realistic identifications. These cards and ids would then be handed out to teams of "shoppers" would go on spending sprees at higher-end stores like Apple, Macy's, and Bloomingdales.
From what authorities have been able to piece together these shopping gangs bought over $13 million on goods like iPads, iPhones, computers, high-end clothing and accessories which where then sent overseas to places like China and Europe to be sold.
As one of the detectives involved in the investigation said - these thieves have an incredible knowledge when it comes to the technology used these days and that the schemes and imagination being developed these days to pull off operations like this is "mind-boggling".