A Long Island mother-daughter duo swindled nearly $1 million from more than a dozen different credit card companies over more than a decade, financing a lavish lifestyle of designer clothes and high-society vacations around the world. the world, according to authorities.
Karan Geist, 61, and her daughter Alyssa Geist, 33, pleaded not guilty Friday to a series of charges including fraud and grand theft, according to an indictment obtained by the New York Post.
Prosecutors in the Manhattan Supreme Court claim that, between 2008 and 2021, Karan falsely disputed $850,000 in charges from at least 14 different banks and credit card companies.
“This is a 13-year scheme that involved thousands of credit card transactions that Karan falsely reported, even though he incurred legitimate charges, as fraudulent,” Deputy District Attorney Catherine McCaw said during the hearing. .
Charges ‘range from lavish to mundane’, prosecutors allege
Assistant District Attorney Catherine McCaw told Judge Laura Ward that the purchases “ranged in nature from the luxurious to the mundane” and financed trips to “exotic destinations such as Paris, Milan, Norway, Costa Rica, Hawaii and other places”.
New York mother and daughter ran credit card charge scam to finance lavish lifestyle: Indictment: Karan Geist and her daughter Alyssa Geist appeared in Manhattan Supreme Court on Friday and pleaded not guilty to the series of charges against him, including large… https://t.co/hReTgKiGFM pic.twitter.com/SMYHgHKwU3
— @SunDispatch (@SunDispatch) August 29, 2022
“These purchases ranged in nature from the luxurious to the mundane,” according to District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office.
“On numerous occasions, Karan has booked trips for both foreigners and domestics to exotic destinations such as Paris, Milan, Norway, Costa Rica, Hawaii and many other places.”
The couple also went shopping at luxury purveyors Bloomingdale’s and Bergdorf Goodman.
Duo reported false charges as fraudulent, allegedly
The Post reports that Karan, a former paraprofessional at a Long Island high school, received credit on her balances after falsely reporting fraudulent charges to banks and credit card companies, including $205,000 on her American Express cards and $155,000 from Chase Bank.
“She booked tickets in her own name, car rentals in her own name, hotel stays in her own name, and other luxury purchases like watches and handbags while traveling,” McCaw said.
He reportedly even disputed small charges, like Dollar Store purchases and veterinary bills for his dogs Daisy and Louis.
Karan, who lost her job in November 2016 according to New York Board of Education records, eventually led her daughter into the fraud scheme, which prosecutors say she participated in for about six months.
Police find over 100 ‘fraudulent’ credit card and transaction receipts during raid
In 2016, Barclays Bank obtained surveillance video of the two items they were buying at a Chanel store after it was reported as a fraudulent charge, according to the Post.
Meanwhile, prosecutors said Alyssa allegedly charged one of her mother’s credit cards for $1,400 in July 2017 and disputed the charge for a full refund per her mother’s instructions.
A month later, in August 2017, Alyssa allegedly texted her mother about falsely disputing the charges as fraudulent. According to Alyssa’s Zeta Sigma Phi sorority biography, she has “a shopping addiction/semi-problem.”
Last year, authorities raided Karan’s Huntington home and located more than 100 credit cards used for purchases along with receipts for transactions he later reported as fraud.
During Friday’s hearing, the couple were forced to surrender their passports as part of their supervised release.
Neither mother nor daughter offer any comment on $850,000 fraud scheme
Neither Karan nor Alyssa offered comment when asked for comment by the Post as they left court.
“My only comment. [is] she is not guilty. She is completely innocent here and it will come out in the end,” said Alyssa’s attorney, James Pascarella.
An attorney for Karan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The mother-daughter duo are due back in court on September 14, according to the Post.