A crime ring based in New Jersey created thousands of fake identities to obtain 25,000 credit cards and steal more than $200 million in one of the largest scams of its type, the Justice Department said.

Eighteen people engaged in a conspiracy to create thousands of false identities and credit profiles, burnish their creditworthiness, and take large loans that were never repaid, according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation arrest complaint unsealed Feb. 5 in federal court in Newark, New Jersey.

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