A New York man was sentenced to 4-1/2 to nine years in prison for spearheading a cybercrime ring in Brooklyn. According to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Shaheed Bilal purchased more than $1 million worth of Apple, Inc. products since 2008 with stolen credit card numbers.
In a joint investigation between the Manhattan DA’s Office and the United States Secret Service, Bilal and partners would purchase stolen credit card numbers online, manufacture counterfeit credit cards and go to Apple stores across the country to purchase everything from iPads to MacBooks. The group would then sell the stolen goods to dealers. The DA’s office believes the stolen credit card numbers were obtained through traffickers in Eastern Europe.
Bilal’s partners included his brothers, Ali, 25, Issac, 27, and Rahim, 23, and Bilal’s girlfriend, Ophelia Alleyne, 31. According to prosecutors, Bilal’s brothers recruited shoppers to go purchase the merchandise. His girlfriend ran the day to day operations.
“This criminal organization was truly a family affair,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement.
Bilal was sentenced on Thursday in New York state court in Manhattan after pleading guilty to grand larceny in the second degree in April. Without the plea, Bilal faced up to 15 years in prison if he had been convicted in a trial.
His brothers, Ali and Rahim, pled guilty and were already sentenced. Ali received one to three years and Rahim, two to six years. Bilal’s girlfriend also pled guilty and was given a four to 12 year sentence.
According to prosecutors, 16 people have been convicted in this case and seven others, including Issac, Bilal’s brother, have charges pending against them.