NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Federal officials say they have broken up one of the nation's largest credit card fraud rings.
Eighteen people have been charged with participating in the Jersey City-based scam.
U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said Tuesday the losses were "massive." He says the group stole at least $200 million and the number could grow.
Some money was sent overseas. Other funds were used to finance comfortable lifestyles. Authorities found $68,000 in a stove.
Fishman says the group used at least 7,000 fake identities to obtain 25,000 cards. Authorities say the fraud spanned at least eight countries and 28 states.
The group is accused of giving credit bureaus false information that boosted credit scores and limits. Investigators say they took out loans and ran up charges at businesses and split profits with the owners.