Philly woman called major player in 'largest credit-card scam ever'

Posted: February 07, 2013

A PHILADELPHIA woman was among 13 people arrested Tuesday in what federal authorities call "one of the largest" credit-card-fraud schemes ever.

Vernina Adams, 31, was pivotal to the fraud by supplying the ring of scammers with fake, pumped-up credit histories through her business, One Stop Credit Shop, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Collectively, the ring of co-conspirators from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania allegedly stole at least $200 million through a network of fake companies, according to authorities.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced the arrests after unsealing a criminal complaint that describes a "sprawling" fraud that spanned dozens of states and numerous countries in 2011 and 2012.

"This type of fraud increases the costs of doing business for every American consumer, every day," Fishman said in a news release.

All of the defendants are charged with bank fraud.

Authorities called the enterprise a "sophisticated, organized scheme" that stole hundreds of millions of dollars through the creation of 7,000 false identities.

The scope of the scam was "enormous," they said.

Adams could not be reached for comment. Several telephone numbers connected to her were either out of service or incorrect.

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