McAllen Man Heads to Federal Prison for Possessing Stolen Debit and Bank Account Numbers
|Dec. 13, 2012|
McALLEN, Texas – Mario Wong, 33, of McAllen, Texas, has been sent to federal prison for access device fraud related to his possession of unauthorized debit and bank account numbers from Domestic and International Banks, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Wong pleaded guilty Aug. 30, 2012, admitting he possessed at least 15 unauthorized access devices, namely debit and bank account numbers.
Today, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez, who accepted the plea, handed Wong a 57-month-term of federal imprisonment. At the hearing, the government established Wong was participating in a transnational scheme whereby he would receive stolen debit and bank account numbers from co-conspirators in Mexico, purchase expensive electronic items and return those items to Mexico for re-sale. The court found Wong was in possession of approximately 8,148 debit and bank account numbers and intended to steal more than $4,074,000. In tandem with his plea, Wong also forfeited $114,452.88 in U.S. currency seized following his arrest.
Wong was indicted after a search of his residence led to the seizure of re-encoded gift and credit cards as well as flash drives containing thousands of debit and bank account numbers from domestic and international financial institutions. Law enforcement agents further recovered a computer, numerous flash drives, a re-encoding device and bank receipts revealing cash deposits in local banks.
Wong has been in custody since his arrest where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The United States Secret Service conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Grady Leupold is prosecuting the case.