Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar sentenced Thi Van Ho, age 51, of Bear, Delaware to 46 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy and interstate transportation of stolen property. Judge Bredar has also ordered Ho to pay $ 2,478,069.16 in restitution.
The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner and Acting Special Agent in Charge Rachel Byrd of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.
According to his plea agreement, from September 2015 to March 2019, Ho and four co-conspirators devised and executed a plan to defraud a beauty product manufacturer (“Victim Company 1”) by submitting fraudulent invoices in the names of shell companies for services and products that were never actually provided to Victim Company 1.
In September 2015 Co-conspirator 1, who was the Director of Planning, Logistics, and Control at Victim Company 1, was tasked with arranging vendors for the disposal of waste at two of Victim Company 1’s warehouses. In his position, Co-conspirator 1 had total autonomy in the approval process and payment of invoices.
Co-conspirator 1, Ho, and three co-conspirators created the shell entities of MPC II, LLC, Marka Warehouse System, LLC., and SMNI, LLC. The co-conspirators registered the shell entities in their names, listed themselves as president or resident agent, and rented PO Boxes in different States which served as the alleged business address for each of the shell companies.
Ho also admitted that the conspiracy cashed the fraudulently obtained checks that Victim Company 1 issued to pay for the false invoices at check cashing facilities in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After the checks were cashed, the co-conspirators would divide the cash proceeds among themselves. Ho received roughly 53% of each fraudulently obtained check and used the remainder of his proceeds for personal expenses.
In sum, Ho and his co-conspirators caused Victim Company 1 to issue approximately $2,527,234 for false and fraudulent services. Three of Ho’s co-conspirators have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner praised the FBI for their work in the investigation. Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen O. Gavin who prosecuted the case.
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