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Press Release

California Man Sentenced for Scheme Involving Over $300,000 in Fraudulent Purchases from Home Depot

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS, LA – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that JONATHAN or Pilla SINLAO, age 38, a resident of San Jose, California, was sentenced for Conspiracy to Commit Access Device Fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(b)(2). 

According to court documents, SINLAO conspired with others to conduct approximately $340,164.49 in unauthorized purchases of gift cards and products at Home Depot stores using Citibank credit card numbers belonging to others.  During these transactions, SINLAO used temporary charge passes containing his own name with 16-digit credit card numbers belonging to other customers.  These transactions occurred between February of 2019 and July of 2019 at Home Depot stores in Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, New York, and Oklahoma.  Video footage and photographic evidence from Home Depot stores captured SINLAO conducting approximately 78 unauthorized transactions. 

In April of 2019, SINLAO was captured on video conducting two unauthorized transactions in Harahan, during which he purchased a Home Depot gift card.  SINLAO then sold this gift card to a pawn shop in Metairie.  Then, in July of 2019, after SINLAO attempted to conduct two unauthorized purchases using two different Home Depot credit card numbers that were not issued to him, law enforcement obtained a warrant to search his U-Haul vehicle.  Inside, SINLAO had receipts for fraudulent Home Depot purchases; boxes containing Home Depot merchandise; and temporary charge passes containing SINLAO’s name with 16-digit credit card numbers assigned to others.

U.S. District Judge Barry W. Ashe sentenced SINLAO to serve 63 months in prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release.   Judge Ashe also imposed restitution to be paid by SINLAO in the amount of $341,164.49 and a mandatory special assessment fee of $100.

U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Department of Homeland Security, the Oklahoma City Police Department, and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office in investigating this matter.  The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Carboni.

Updated November 18, 2022

Identity Theft