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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE

July 10, 2012

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
(713) 567-9388

Chinese National Pleads Guilty in Nearly $1 Million Bank Fraud/Identity Theft Scam

HOUSTON – Xin Gu, 29, of Dalian, China, has been convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Trial testimony began yesterday and in court today, Gu opted to enter a plea of guilty. 

On Feb. 3, 2012, Gu was arrested after he posed as someone else in a Chase bank in Houston. He had presented a fraudulent passport with someone else’s picture and information as well as other fraudulent identification documents bearing the victim’s name and identifying information. At the time of his arrest, Gu also had other receipts and withdrawal slips for other withdrawals made on the victim’s account that same day. 

Seven days prior to that arrest, a fictional authorized user had been added to the victim’s business and personal accounts at a Chase Bank branch in New York without the victim’s knowledge by a man posing as the victim. Subsequently, another woman - posing as that fictional account user - then also began making withdraws on the victim’s account in Houston.

Gu and the woman posing as the victim and fictional authorized user, respectively, made withdrawals from the victim’s business and personal accounts totaling approximately $980,000 in a seven-day period. One of those purchases included a $236,000 Mercedes Benz purchased with a cashier’s check. Items found in the Mercedes allowed Secret Service agents to determine Gu knew the woman posing as the fictional account user.

The investigation into the conspiracy is ongoing.

Gu faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison, without parole, and a $1 million fine at his sentencing hearing, set for Oct. 19, 2012. Gu has remained in custody since the date of his arrest where he will remain pending that hearing.

The charges brought against Gu were the result of a an investigation by the United States Secret Service. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys John Jocher and Andrew Leuchtmann.