Sacto 9-1-1
November 8, 2013
Elk Grove man sentenced for debit card, student loan fraud

An Elk Grove man has been sentenced to 63 months in prison for schemes involving debit card and student loan fraud.

Mordechay Altit, 34, pleaded guilty in August to two counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. He was sentenced today in federal court Sacramento by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell.

According to court documents, Altit applied for debit cards issued by banks or other providers using his name or the 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 these transactions, Altit used the cards to spend and transfer the money. Authorities said Altit attempted to have at least $450,000 in fraudulent merchant returns credited to his debit cards.

In a separate fraudulent scheme, Altit obtained more than $200,000 in student loans and attempted to receive an additional $250,000 in students loans from banks through fraudulent representations, according to court documents. On applications that he submitted, Altit fraudulently represented the names of 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 student loans, Altit wrote checks for more than $19,000 each to his brother, Shay Din Altit, who pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy to commit money laundering. Shay Din Altit was sentenced Sept. 27 to one year and a day in prison.

The cases resulted from investigations by the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the United States Secret Service.

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