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Press Release

Former Director At New York City Mayor’s Office Arrested For Participating In Bank Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and James Smith, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today the arrest of TOMMY LIN in connection with a scheme to steal millions of dollars from financial institutions, which resulted in the theft of over $10 million.  LIN was arrested this morning and will be presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron.  LIN was charged in a Superseding Indictment along with ZHONG SHI GAO, a/k/a “George,” and FEI JIANG, a/k/a “Jeffrey,” a/k/a “Brother Fei,” who were previously arrested in November 2023.  The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Tommy Lin allegedly participated in a complex bank fraud scheme while also serving as a Director in the New York City Mayor’s Office and Senior Advisor to the NYPD’s Asian Advisory Council.  Leveraging his connections to law enforcement, he allegedly leaked personal identifying information to members of the scheme, ran background checks for them, and even arranged for federal immigration authorities to arrest an individual in exchange for $20,000 in cash.  I thank the career prosecutors of this Office and our law enforcement partners for their persistence in investigating this fraudulent and corrupt scheme.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge James Smith said: “Tommy Lin, a former director in the Mayor’s Office, allegedly participated in a scheme to defraud more than a dozen financial institutions of at least $10 million by submitting illegitimate fraud reports to force the banks to reimburse them.  To facilitate this conspiracy, Lin allegedly assisted members of the scheme in running background checks and accepted a significant cash bribe to arrange the arrest of a slighted accountholder by immigration authorities.  Those in municipal offices are expected to conduct themselves with rectitude and obedience to the law, not engage in the purposeful manipulation of our economic infrastructure.  The FBI is committed to ensuring all citizens, especially those in positions of authority, adhere to financial regulations and will investigate individuals who seek to profit from fraudulent plots.” 

According to the allegations in the Superseding Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:[1]

LIN previously served as the Director of Constituent Services in the Community Affairs Unit for the New York City Mayor’s Office between in or about 2014 and in or about 2019.  As part of his responsibilities in the New York City Mayor’s Office, LIN served as a Senior Advisor to the New York City Police Department’s Asian Advisory Council. 

Between at least in or about 2018 and in or about 2022, LIN participated in a scheme with GAO, JIANG, and others to steal millions of dollars from banks by causing transfers of funds between accounts they controlled, then falsely and fraudulently reporting that the transfers were unauthorized, which induced the financial institutions to credit them the amount of the transfers.  The scheme was responsible for over $10 million in actual losses to nearly a dozen banks.

LIN participated in the bank fraud conspiracy by, among other things: providing names and dates of birth for potential accountholders to be used in the scheme, running background checks on members of the scheme to ensure that law enforcement was not investigating them, and accepting approximately $20,000 in cash in exchange for arranging for a Deportation Officer with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to arrest a disgruntled accountholder who had previously participated in the scheme.

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LIN, 41, of Forest Hills, New York, is charged with one count of bank fraud conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison; and one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison to be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed. 

The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Williams praised the investigative work of the FBI.  Mr. Williams also thanked the New York City Department of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General for their assistance in the investigation of this case.  

This case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew K. Chan, James Ligtenberg, and Ni Qian are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment and the description of the Indictment set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described herein should be treated as an allegation.


Nicholas Biase, Lauren Scarff, Shelby Wratchford
(212) 637-2600

Updated June 6, 2024

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-200