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Thieves Stole Credit Cards From Gym Lockers, Quickly Purchased High-end Goods Later Sold Online for Millions of Dollars

November 20, 2008

Two King County men were arrested early this morning in connection with a lengthy investigation into an ID theft ring that netted as much as $3 million selling stolen goods on eBay. The alleged ringleader, GABRIEL K. JANG, 36, of Newcastle, Washington, and BILLY MORRIS BRITT, 35, of Renton, Washington, were arrested this morning on a criminal complaint charging them with Wire Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft. The lengthy complaint outlines how the men were involved in an identity theft and fraud ring that sold more than $3 million of electronics on eBay over the last seven years. Both men are being detained at the Federal Detention Center at Sea-Tac, Washington. Their next court appearances are detention hearings scheduled for Tuesday November 25, 2008.

According to the complaint, members of the conspiracy would frequent work-out facilities and fitness centers in Washington, Oregon and as far away as Georgia, and would break into the lockers of people using the work out facilities. The conspirators would remove credit cards from wallets they found in the lockers, and working with equipment in their cars, would make phony identification to go with the credit cards. BRITT was one of the conspirators who purchased numerous high end electronics using the credit cards and fake IDs before the owners could report the cards stolen. The goods were shipped to JANG who then sold them on eBay. Using the name Nexusi or Nexus Systems, JANG sold the items to unsuspecting buyers on the internet using eBay. PayPal records indicate JANG’s account received more than $3 million between April of 2001, and August of 2008. More than $340,000 was paid into a second PayPal account between January and June 2008.

Wire Fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Aggravated Identity Theft is punishable by a mandatory minimum two years in prison to run consecutive to the sentence imposed on any other conviction.

The charges contained in the complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case is being investigated by the Secret Service Electric Crimes Task Force, the Seattle Police Department and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kathryn Warma, Norman Barbosa and Darwin Roberts.

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