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Oct. 4, 2012

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Houston Man Convicted of Possessing Stolen Credit Cards Numbers

HOUSTON – Ninh Nguyen, 58, of Houston, has been convicted of access device fraud, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Nguyen entered a plea of guilty just a short time ago, admitting he possessed 15 or more credit card account numbers that had been stolen or obtained with intent to defraud.

Nguyen was arrested March 30, 2012, At the Wal-Mart on Tomball Parkway by the Harris County Sheriff’s Department for shoplifting 32 Wal-Mart gift cards. Court records indicated he was detained and subsequently found to be in possession of more than 250 credit, debit and other gift cards. Many of the cards were in Nguyen’s name, but some were in his wife’s name and in the names of others. 

All of the cards were analyzed and 27 were found to have magnetic strips encoded with numbers and accountholder information that did not match the number or name on the front of the card. The true accountholders for the 27 re-encoded cards were contacted and all stated that they had not given Nguyen permission to possess their card numbers or to re-encode them onto credit, debit or gift cards.

U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller, who accepted the guilty plea, has set sentencing for Jan. 13, 2013, at which time Nguyen will face a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Nguyen was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.  

The matter was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Harris County Sheriff’s Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James R. Buchanan.