New York mother and daughter ran credit card charge scam to finance lavish lifestyle: indictment

As a mother, as a scammer.

A Long Island mother and daughter have been charged in a decade-old credit card fraud scheme in which they allegedly swindled banks out of hundreds of thousands of dollars for designer clothing purchases and luxury vacations. as The Post learned.

Karan Geist, 61, and her daughter Alyssa Geist, 33, appeared in Manhattan Supreme Court on Friday and pleaded not guilty to a series of charges against them, including grand theft and fraud.

“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. .

Prosecutors allege that Karan falsely disputed $850,000 in charges from approximately 14 different credit card companies between 2008 and 2021.

“These purchases ranged in nature from the luxurious to the mundane,” according to District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office.

“On numerous occasions, Karan booked trips for both foreigners and domestics to exotic destinations such as Paris, Milan, Norway, Costa Rica, Hawaii and elsewhere,” the ADA told Judge Laura Ward in court.

The Huntington resident allegedly received credit on her statements after calling banks and writing letters to employees who falsely reported fraudulent charges, including $205,000 on her American Express cards and $155,000 from Chase.

The Long Island mother and daughter were charged with allegedly using stolen credit cards to finance luxury trips to Europe.
The Long Island mother and daughter were charged with allegedly falsely reporting fraudulent credit card charges to finance luxury travel.
court display

“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.

She also allegedly questioned everyday expenses, such as purchases at the Dollar Store and even a veterinary bill for her dogs Louis and Daisy, as well as purchases at stores like Bloomingdale’s and Bergdorf Goodman.

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Prosecutors allege that Karan then recruited his daughter to join the family scam, and that Alyssa participated in the scam for approximately six months.

In 2016, Barclays Bank obtained surveillance footage of Karan and Alyssa making a transaction at a Chanel store, which the two later reported as a fraudulent charge, prosecutors alleged.

Alyssa Geist appears at her State Supreme Court arraignment on August 26, 2022 in New York.
Alyssa Geist at her state Supreme Court arraignment on August 26, 2022 in New York.
Alec Tabac
Karen Geist (pictured) and her daughter Alyssa face theft and other charges.
Karen Geist (above) and her daughter Alyssa are facing theft and other charges.
Alec Tabac

Alyssa, a former New York City teacher, allegedly used one of her mother’s credit cards for a $1,400 purchase in July 2017, and following Karan’s specific instructions, later disputed the charge to obtain a refund.

While traveling to Montreal with friends in August 2017, Alyssa texted her mother about falsely disputing the charges as fraudulent, prosecutors alleged. Alyssa left the Department of Education in 2015 and founded Tutorologie, an online and in-home tutoring service for children.

Police raided Karan’s home about a year ago and found more than 100 credit cards linked to multiple purchases, including a refrigerator and sunglasses, as well as receipts related to transactions later reported as fraud, the prosecutor’s office said. .

The accused fraudsters were released on supervised release after their hearing on Friday, with their passports ordered confiscated.

Karen Geist (left) and Alyssa Geist (right) walk to their arraignment at State Supreme Court on August 26, 2022.
Karen Geist (left) and Alyssa Geist are escorted to their state Supreme Court arraignment on August 26, 2022.
Alec Tabac

Alyssa, who was wearing ripped jeans and a patterned top, was in tears as she left court, and both she and her mother declined to comment.

“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 and daughter are due back in court on September 14.

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