by Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.  November 4, 2011 The New York Country District Attorney Office County

DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE ANNOUNCES INDICTMENT IN LARGE-SCALE CREDIT CARD IDENTITY THEFT SCAM

Defendants Stole Information from 237 Credit Cards of Manhattan Hotel Guests to Purchase More Than $840,000 in Airline Tickets

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of LUKASZ KRUK, 27, and BARRY HERNDON, 47, for collaborating on a long-term scheme in which they stole and possessed information from 237 credit cards, many of which were used to order more than $840,000 in airline tickets, and other goods and services. KRUK and HERNDON are charged with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, Identity Theft in the First Degree, Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, Identity Theft in the Second Degree, Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, Identity Theft in the Third Degree and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree.[1]“The defendants’ identity theft scam invaded the privacy of hundreds of individuals,” said District Attorney Vance. “Identity theft is among the fastest growing crimes in the country. Prosecutions in Manhattan for cybercrime and identity theft have grown at an alarming rate – up about 50 percent in the past five years, with some Manhattan precincts reporting identity theft as their most frequently reported complaint. My Office’s Cybercrime and Identify Theft Bureau is leading our efforts to address sophisticated and complex crime in the 21st century. We are committed to investigating and prosecuting these crimes just as vigorously as street crime.”According to documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court, KRUK worked as an auditor for the Amsterdam Hospitality Group, where he had access to credit card account and personal identifying information of guests at certain hotels in Manhattan. During a period of more than three years, KRUK is accused of stealing copies of credit card authorization forms and other records maintained by the hotels. These documents contained personal identifying information taken from credit card accounts, many of which were American Express corporate accounts. KRUK is charged with selling this stolen credit card information to HERNDON, who’s in turn accused of using that information to purchase airline tickets for himself and third-party travelers.According to documents filed in court, numerous records were found in HERNDON’s residence, including those which contained credit card information, personal identifying information stolen from the Amsterdam Group hotels, and documents reflecting third-party airline traveler information. Additionally, numerous documents stolen from the Amsterdam Group’s hotels were recovered from KRUK’s residence, which contained credit card account information and personal identifying information. Assistant District Attorney Thomas Hook is handling the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Glickman, Deputy Chief of the Cybercrime & Identity Theft Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney David Szuchman, Chief of the Cybercrime & Identity Theft Bureau. Cybercrime Analyst Matthew Gulinello also assisted in this case.District Attorney Vance thanked the Financial Crimes Task Force of the New York City Police Department, particularly Detective Armando Coutinho and Sgt. Barry Neiss.District Attorney Vance also thanked American Express, particularly Alfred Cavuto and Kristen Brock, for their cooperation and assistance, as well as Delta Airlines, American Airlines, and the Amsterdam Hospitality Group.Defendant information:LUKASZ KRUK, D.O.B. 12/24/1983
Queens, NYCharges:
• Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
• Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony 101 counts
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 237 counts
• Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 237 counts
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Identity Theft in the Second Degree, a class E felony, 27 counts
• Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
• Identity Theft in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 5 countsBARRY HERNDON, D.O.B. 06/15/1964
Queens, NYCharges:
• Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
• Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony 101 counts
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 237 counts
• Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 237 counts
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Identity Theft in the Second Degree, a class E felony, 27 counts
• Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
• Identity Theft in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 5 counts[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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