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Feb. 23, 2012

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Houston Man Indicted for Identity Theft

HOUSTON – Xin Gu, 27, of Houston, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for his part in an identity theft scheme rooted in New York, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Gu is charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, false or fraudulent use of a passport and aggravated identity theft.

The indictment alleges that Gu’s co-conspirators entered a Chase Bank branch in New York City and presented false documents including a counterfeit passport to help them pose as the victim in this case in order to add an extra user to his account. The indictment goes on to allege that one of the co-conspirators, posing as the person added to the account, then made several withdrawals on the victim’s account in the Houston area, including one withdrawal for a cashier’s check that was used to buy a $236,000 Mercedes. It was then, the indictment alleges, that Gu entered various Chase Bank branches in the Houston area using a fake passport to pose as the victim himself and make several withdrawals from his account.

The United States Secret Service, who investigated this case, successfully seized the Mercedes immediately after its purchase. 

Currently in custody on related state charges, Gu will be transferred to federal custody pending further criminal proceedings. Conspiracy to commit bank fraud carries a maximum sentence of 30 years, while fraudulent use of a passport carries a maximum sentence of 15 years, upon conviction. If he is convicted of aggravated identity theft, he will face an additional two years in prison to be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed. 

Assistant United States Attorneys John Jocher and Andrew Leuchtmann will prosecute this case for the United States.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.