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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 4, 2019

Woman Sentenced to Prison for Identity Theft

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A woman formerly from McLean was sentenced today to more than four years in prison for stealing the identity of a woman from Alexandria, who had been her housemate. 

According to court documents, Sau Hoong Lee, 66 years old, is a native of Malaysia. Since first entering the United States at least 18 years ago, she has accumulated numerous convictions related to identity theft. Preying on other women with whom she either lived or ingratiated herself, Lee resided in this country under a series of assumed identities. Each of Lee’s identity theft schemes was built on the prior scheme’s foundation, as Lee would often introduce herself to her newest victim under the assumed name of her last victim.

In 2012, using the name of Cindy Tran (a housemate of Lee and a victim of the Lee’s earlier identity theft in California), Lee met and befriended Cindy Lin, and then stole her driver's license. Between 2014 and 2017, Lee used the identity of “Cindy Lin” to raise funds, travel around the country, and engage in various businesses, including multiple EIGC subsidiaries. Under the identity of Cindy Lin, Lee raised funds and engaged in negotiations in 2016 to purchase a controlling interest in Monumental Sports, owner of the Washington Wizards. 

Using the identity of Cindy Lin, Lee convinced individuals including YD, WH, and Alan Perez, to borrow money to purchase nine Porsche and six Ferrari automobiles in their names (with purchase prices totaling more than $2 million), but for her use, in return for her promise to give them money in excess of the vehicle payments. 

In June 2014, Lee was stopped for speeding in McLean, in a 2013 Ferrari, registered to WH. In September 2014, she was stopped for speeding on the Dulles Toll Road in a 2014 Porsche, registered to YD. In July 2015, she was stopped by Maryland State Police in Talbot County, while driving a 2015 Porsche 911 Turbo, registered to WH.  In November 2015, she was stopped by Fairfax County Police on the Dulles Toll Road, while driving a 2016 Ferrari, registered to WH. During each of the traffic stops, Lee provided to the police the Virginia driver’s license of Cindy Lin.

In June 2016, Lee was stopped by an officer of the Sheriff’s Office in Brunswick County, while driving a 2015 Porsche 911 Turbo registered to Alan Perez. During the traffic stop, Lee provided the police officer the Virginia driver’s license of Cindy Lin. 

According to Perez's letter to the Court, he was close friends with Lee and even lived with her. Perez told the Court that she reduced him and his family to financial ruin by convincing him and his parents to give her money for various activities, investments, sign over properties and buy exotic cars.

 In 2017, FBI agents executed a warrant on Lee’s $14,000/month rental apartment in Los Angeles, and found there the Virginia driver’s license of Cindy Lin. 

Upon her release from a California state prison in 2006, after conviction for an identity fraud offense, Lee was turned over to custody of federal immigration authorities. To avoid removal from the United States, Lee requested asylum. Under the name Sau Hoong Lee, and on the basis of an application which claimed that she had never used any other name, Lee was granted deferral of removal from the United States. 

According to evidence received from the government of Malaysia, a 66-year-old woman by the name of Sau Hoong Lee reported to Malaysian authorities that her identity was being used by a woman in America. Today, Lee admitted in Court that she was born Siew Im Cheah in 1959, and started using the name Sau Hoong Lee about 20 years ago.  

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Timothy R. Slater, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon D. Kromberg and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Attias prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:19-cr-62.

Topic(s): 
Identity Theft
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Public Affairs joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated October 4, 2019