Credit Card ‘Bust-Out’ Financed Untaxed Tobacco Products Scheme

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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Three Pakistani men were charged with obtaining more than $500,000 in credit card loans they had no plans to repay in order to finance a scheme to sell contraband cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.

The defendants used the so-called “bust-out” scheme to obtain 50 credit cards from various institutions, including Digital FCU, Weokie CU, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America, and to get loans and cash withdrawals on the cards, according to a federal indictment in the case. The funds were wired to Pakistan to finance the purchase of the tobacco products, which were sold to local convenience stores with no U.S. taxes paid, authorities charge.

The defendants include Asmat Ullah, known as “Uncle,” 60, Khawer Ghill, 40, and Ahsan Ullah, “Ibrahim Khan” and “Shawn Ullah,” 41, of Edmond, who were named in a 59-count indictment that includes conspiracy, trafficking, bank fraud and a separate scheme involving trafficking in untaxed cigarettes.

The case is the result of a joint investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, the United States Secret Service, the Oklahoma City Police Department, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigative Division, the United States Postal Service, the Oklahoma Tax Commission, and the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety.

 

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