New York Man Pleads Guilty to Credit Card Fraud
John H. Durham. United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that XIAO BIN XU, 22, of Bayside, New York, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty yesterday before Chief U.S. District Janet C. Hall in New Haven to one count of access device fraud.
According to court documents and statements made in court, between July 2014 and April 2015, XU was a member of a group of individuals from New York that engaged in counterfeit credit card transactions at retail stores along the East Coast. Mei Bao Lu was the ringleader of the group and Yang-Shi Lin was Lu’s second-in-command. As part of the scheme, Lu provided several individuals (“buyers”) with counterfeit credit cards, which had been produced from credit card information skimmed from cardholders, and directed the buyers to purchase gift cards and luxury merchandise using the counterfeit cards. Lu then sold the items to other individuals at a discount in order to be fenced or sold on the black market. XU was one of the buyers in the group and also recruited other individuals to serve as buyers. The group engaged in fraudulent credit card transactions at retail stores in Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
In total, the group members used 120 counterfeit credit cards, issued by 18 victim financial institutions, to make a total of approximately $179,000 in fraudulent purchases.
The investigation began in February 2015 when the Clinton Police Department and other police departments in nearby Connecticut towns received several complaints from citizens about unauthorized charges on their credit and debit cards. The investigation revealed that many of the complaining citizens had all dined at the same Clinton restaurant during a two-week period in early February 2015.
Chief Judge Hall scheduled sentencing for July 24, 2018, at which time XU faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years. XU has been released on bond since his arrest on September 10, 2015.
Lu and Lin, both of Flushing, New York, previously pleaded guilty to related charges. On February 5, 2018, Chief Judge Hall sentenced Lin 12 months and one day of imprisonment. On February 7, Chief Judge Hall sentenced Lu to 18 months of imprisonment.
Several other members of LU’s group were charged and convicted for credit card related offenses in state and federal courts in Maine, New Jersey, New York, and West Virginia.
This investigation has been conducted by Homeland Security Investigations and the Clinton Police Department. The U.S. Secret Service, Millburn (N.J.) Police Department, New York Police Department, New York State Police, Acton (Mass.) Police Department, and Barboursville (W. Va.) Police Department assisted with the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Neeraj N. Patel.