Old Bridge man charged with falsely obtaining funds

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An Old Bridge man was charged with allegedly using phony payments and false identity theft claims to deceive credit card companies and banks into giving him funds and credit.

Sandy John Masselli, 55, is charged with two counts of bank fraud and two counts of wire fraud. FBI agents apprehended Masselli at his residence on Oct. 26, according to a statement provided by Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick.

According to the complaint, from June 2014 through July 2017 Masselli allegedly engaged in three separate but related schemes to fraudulently obtain credit and funds from various credit card companies and two brokerage firms.

In one scheme, Masselli allegedly opened accounts with certain credit card companies, made purchases with these accounts until he had almost reached or exceeded the credit limit, and then sent payments from bank accounts that he knew did not have sufficient funds to cover the purchases, according to the statement. Before the fraudulent payments were rejected for insufficient funds, the credit card companies temporarily credited Masselli’s accounts based on those payments, providing him access to additional credit and allowing him to continue to make purchases. Masselli reportedly failed to pay these balances and the credit card companies sustained substantial losses, according to the statement.

In another scheme, Masselli allegedly opened credit accounts with two credit card companies, made thousands of dollars in purchases, and then falsely represented to these credit card companies that the accounts had been opened fraudulently and used without his authorization, causing these companies to close the accounts and sustain losses, according to the statement.

As part of a third scheme, Masselli allegedly attempted to deposit more than $600,000 in checks from a closed account into a new brokerage account, which he then tried to use for various personal expenses. Those transfers were unsuccessful because the checks he deposited were ultimately returned as unpaid, according to the statement.

The bank fraud counts each carry a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The wire fraud counts each carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss from the offense.