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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE

Feb. 11, 2010

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
(713) 567-9388

HOUSTON AREA BUSINESS WOMAN CHARGED WITH DEFRAUDING HOUSTON AREA BANKS OF APPROXIMATELY $300,000

(HOUSTON) – A 10-count indictment charging Ann Ngoc To with executing two different schemes to defraud Houston area banks of almost $300,000 has been unsealed following her arrest, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. 

To, 57, of Houston, was arrested on Tuesday, Feb. 9, by special agents of the United States Secret Service without incident. The indictment returned under seal by a Houston grand jury on Jan. 28, 2010, was unsealed today following her appearance before a United States Magistrate Judge. To has been ordered temporarily held without bond pending a detention hearing set for today.

The first five counts of bank fraud alleged in the indictment accuse To of defrauding Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase Bank, both federally insured institutions, of approximately $200,000 between August 2006 and February 2008. According to the indictment, To opened lines of credit accounts at these institutions, withdrew funds from the lines of credit, then deposited a series of worthless checks issued from yet another bank to artificially increase her available credit. To allegedly continued depositing the worthless checks until she withdrew all funds up to the credit limit.

The second five counts of bank fraud accuse To of defrauding Compass Bank, a federally insured institution, of approximately $90,000 beginning from September 2008 through February 2008 through a different scheme. These counts allege To executed a scheme in which she caused more than 1000 false credit card transactions to be processed through a credit card terminal she obtained when she opened a merchant account at Compass bank.  According the indictment, To opened a direct deposit account at Compass Bank. The funds generated through these false transactions were directly deposited by the bank into this account. To allegedly withdrew the funds before the bank could reverse the charges.

Each count of bank fraud carries a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in federal prison, without parole, and a maximum fine of $250,000.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andino Reynal.

    

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