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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Chinese National Sentenced For Skimming Customers’ Credit Card Numbers At Loudoun County Restaurantv

Man Stole Nearly 600 Credit Card Numbers in Less Than a Month

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Yaoliang Gao, 23, of Flushing, New York, was sentenced today to 30 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for one count of possessing 15 or more unauthorized access devices.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Kathy Michalko, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s Washington Field Office; and Terry Sheffer, Detective for Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Cacheris.

Gao pled guilty on July 3, 2014.  According to court documents, from March 11, 2014 to April 8, 2014, Gao was employed as a waiter at Moca Asian Bistro in Chantilly, Virginia.  When customers gave Gao their credit cards to pay for their meals, the defendant swiped the customer’s card through a credit card skimming device, which captured the customer’s card information from the magnetic strip.  Prior to beginning his employment, Gao met an individual who gave him the skimmer and agreed to pay him $50 for every credit and debit card number he captured.

On April 8, 2014, Gao was caught in the act by a customer who observed him using the skimming device to illegally obtain his credit card information.  Loudoun County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the location and took possession of the device, which was discovered to contain 598 unique credit card numbers.  As a result of Gao’s actions, financial institutions lost $8,429.  In addition, Gao, who is a Chinese citizen, overstayed his F-1 Student Visa.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Secret Service’s Washington Field Office, with assistance from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.  Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Ballantyne prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:14-cr-218.

Updated March 25, 2015