A British man living in Las Vegas was indicted by a Nevada grand jury for multiple counts of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering on Wednesday, the Justice Department said in a statement.
Gareth David Long, 37, was charged with 39 counts in the indictment for withdrawing money from the bank accounts of hundreds of thousands of American through his third-party payment processing company, V Internet Corp., between 2008 and 2013, and through several payday loan search websites in 2013.
Long allegedly used personal information gained through his businesses to create remotely created checks — a kind of check created by third-party payees that requires a statement that says it was authorized by the account holder, but not a signature.
The indictment also accuses him of buying spreadsheets containing the personal information of people who had never used his websites or business.
According to the release, Long allegedly created and deposited over 750,000 remotely created checks totaling more than $22 million, which he used to buy planes, cars and farming equipment.
During the investigation U.S. Postal Inspectors seized five airplanes, two cars, several tractors, five all-terrain vehicles and a fire truck from Long, along with $2.9 million.
Long’s fraud was discovered during a Justice Department investigation of the CommerceWest Bank, which handled V Internet’s accounts.