CRIME

Jewelry store owners sentenced in credit card fraud scheme

The owners of a New Jersey jewelry store who used the business to further one of the largest credit card fraud schemes ever charged by the U.S. Department of Justice have been sentenced.

Forty-nine-year-old Vijay Verma received a 14-month prison term Monday, and 78-year-old Tarsem Lal got a year of home confinement. The Woodbridge Township men had pleaded guilty. They'll forfeit $450,000.

Prosecutors say Verma and Lal were part of a scheme to create and use more than 7,000 false identities to obtain tens of thousands of credit cards. The scheme caused more than $200 million in losses to businesses and financial institutions.

Prosecutors say Verma allowed fraudulently obtained cards to be swiped at the Jersey City store as part of phony transactions and both men allowed people to swipe cards they knew didn't legitimately belong to them.