News and Press Releases

Decade-long Scheme Stealing Credit Cards From Gym Lockers to Purchase and Fence High-end Goods

February 5, 2010

GABRIEL JANG, 37, of Newcastle, Washington was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to eight and half years in prison, five years of supervised release and hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution for Conspiracy to Commit Bank and Wire Fraud, Access Device Fraud, Structuring Currency Transactions and Aggravated Identity Theft. JANG was also ordered to forfeit three houses purchased with the proceeds of his scheme as well as $116,527.00 in cash, and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stolen goods. JANG was the leader of an ID theft ring that netted over $3.2 million selling stolen goods over eBay. At sentencing Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik told him “you became a sophisticated crook.”

According to records filed in the case, 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 gyms. JANG provided co-conspirators with mobile computer equipment to quickly manufacture false identity documents, such as drivers licenses, to be used with the stolen credit cards. The conspirators used the stolen credit cards and fake IDs to purchase high-end electronics. JANG recruited the locker thieves, provided them with equipment and paid them about half the face value of the items they procured with stolen credit cards. JANG then fenced the stolen electronics over the internet auction website eBay. PayPal records indicate Jang’s account received more than $3 million between April of 2001, and August of 2008.

Billy Morris Britt, 37, of Renton, Washington, was sentenced in November 2009 to 61 months in prison, five years of supervised release and $466,622 in restitution for his role as one to the locker room thieves who purchased numerous high end electronics using the credit cards and fake IDs. BRITT made the mistake of setting up a Best Buy rewards account that ultimately identified him as one of the co-conspirators. Comparing purchases related to the rewards account, to items posted on eBay, ultimately lead to GABRIEL JANG.

In asking for a significant sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Norman Barbosa noted that the conspiracy spanned five different states, victimized dozens of individuals and more than twenty banks. JANG “was at the center of this conspiracy and he was responsible for providing sophisticated computer support that allowed the conspiracy to flourish for years,” Mr. Barbosa wrote in his sentencing memo. “Mr. Jang operated a highly sophisticated fencing operation that generated revenues much like a mid-sized business operation. Indeed, the computing equipment Mr. Jang utilized to support his criminal enterprise was described by Secret Service computer forensics personnel as the type of equipment they would expect to see in a small-to-medium sized business operation,” Mr. Barbosa said.

The case was investigated by the Secret Service Electric Crimes Task Force, the Seattle Police Department and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), with assistance from numerous local police departments including the Bothell Police, the Beaverton, Oregon Police Department, the Tualatin, Oregon Police Department, and the Renton Police Department.

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

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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