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WOODBRIDGE — Two men from this township’s Iselin section will spend a year and two months in federal prison after admitting their role in a nationwide, multi-million-dollar credit card fraud scheme.

The fraud, which amounted to more than $200 million, was breathtaking in scope. Federal prosecutors said the case was one of the largest credit card schemes ever investigated by the Justice Department.

Authorities said Vijay Verma, 49, and Tarsem Lal, 78, who owned a Jersey City jewelry store, worked with eight others to open tens of thousands of credit cards for 7,000 fake people.

Authorities said the scheme involved a network of people across the country using 1,800 “drop addresses” for the credit card accounts.

The scheme involved reporting false information to credit bureaus in order to obtain more expensive lines of credit. Purchases were then made on the cards and the debts were never repaid.

Cards were swiped for phony purchases at the jewelry store and the proceeds were split with the owners, federal prosecutors said.

A federal judge on Monday also sentenced Verma and Lal to a year under house arrest. They each will have to pay a $5,000 fine and $451,259 in restitution.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email

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