A 34-year-old Sacramento man pleaded guilty today in a federal case involving debit card and student loan fraud.
Mordechay Altit -- also known as Michael Altit, Anthony Altit and Tony Altit -- pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering in connection with fraudulent use of debit cards and student loan fraud, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.
According to court documents, Altit applied for debit cards issued by banks or other debit card providers in his own name, or using names and Social Security numbers of other people. He then used merchant and terminal identification numbers issued to merchants and businesses nationwide to cause fraudulent refunds and credits to be placed on the debit cards he controlled.
Before the businesses could rescind the transactions, Altit used the cards to spend and transfer money. Authorities said he attempted to have at least $450,000 in fraudulent merchant returns credited to his debit cards.
Altit also obtained more than $200,000 in student loans and attempted to receive an additional $250,000 in student loans from banks through fraudulent representations, according to court documents.
On applications that he submitted, Altit fraudulently represented the names of the students applying for the loans, their Social Security numbers, their incomes, and that they were attending or planned to attend schools such as Southern California University of Health Sciences, Harvard Law School, Yale School of Medicine and California State University, Sacramento.
After receiving some of the proceeds from two of the student loans, Altit wrote checks for more than $19,000 each to his brother Shay Din Altit, authorities said. Shay Din Altit pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy to commit money laundering and is to be sentenced Sept. 13.
Mordechay Altit is to be sentenced Nov. 8 by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr.
The cases resulted from investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Division, and the U.S. Secret Service.