Two New Jersey residents, Dogar Singh (67) of Carteret and Rehan Afridi (36) of West Deptford have been charged in a multi-state bank fraud scheme which allegedly resulted in more than $10 million losses by federal prosecutors from Maryland.
The multi-state bank $10 million fraud scheme involved 76 businesses including BBQ Tonite and Al Madina Kabob, which are associated with the defendants Dogar Singh and Rehan Afridi.
The criminal complaints originally signed on July 2, 2020 were unsealed at the initial court appearance of Dogar Singh and Rehan Afridi on July 6, 2020 in U.S. District Court, Trenton, NJ.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint:
…in October 2019, BBQ Tonite and Al Madina Kabob were identified as being part of a ring of 76 suspect merchants in Maryland, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia, that engaged in a refund fraud/invalid authorization scheme where fraudulently authorized refunds were sent to debit cards linked to bank accounts associated with the suspect merchants. As part of the scheme, multiple suspect businesses refunded the same debit cards. Over the course of fraud scheme, 2,426 credit or debit card transactions were executed totaling $10,782,047. The loss associated with Al Madina Kabob alone is alleged to be at least $470,000.
…in April 2019, Singh and Afridi opened multiple business and personal accounts at TD Bank. Just a few days later, those accounts received large deposits from Al Madina Kabob, totaling $776,900. Although those deposits were ultimately rejected by TD Bank as fraudulent, Singh and Afridi allegedly withdrew or transferred approximately $232,152.40 before the funds were returned. Prior to the bank’s rejection of the deposits as fraudulent, Singh and Afridi were seen withdrawing cash at cash windows at casinos in Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania as well as issuing checks and conducting cash withdrawals from Automated Teller Machines.
Charges & Potential Penalty
New Jersey residents Dogar Singh and Rehan Afridi were both charged with:
* Conspiracy to commit bank fraud
If convicted on charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, Dogar Singh and Rehan Afridi each face a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison.
However, actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.
And, a federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The Trenton, NJ U.S. District court released Dogar Singh and Rehan Afridi pending a trial with an order directing them to appear in U.S. District Court in Maryland on July 15, 2020.
The criminal charges filed against Dogar Singh and Rehan Afridi are mere accusations and they must be presumed innocent until proven guilty.