Chinese National Sent To Prison In Nearly $1 Million Bank Fraud/Identity Theft Scam
HOUSTON – Xin Gu, 29, of Dalian, China, has been sentenced to prison following his convictions of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Gu entered a plea of guilty on Tuesday, July 10, 2012, after hearing a day of trial testimony in federal court in Houston.
Today, U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller handed Gu 30 months for the bank fraud conviction and an additional 24 months on the aggravated identity theft which must be served consecutively for a total sentence of 54 months in federal prison. Gu is expected to face deportation proceedings following his release from prison.
On Feb. 3, 2012, Gu was arrested after he posed as someone else in a Chase bank in Houston. He had presented a fraudulent passport with his picture and someone else’s information as well as other fraudulent identification documents bearing the victim’s name and identifying information. At the time of his arrest, Gu also had other receipts and withdrawal slips for other withdrawals made on the victim’s account that same day.
Seven days prior to that arrest, a fictional authorized user had been added to the victim’s business and personal accounts at a Chase Bank branch in New York without the victim’s knowledge by a man posing as the victim. Subsequently, another woman - posing as that fictional account user - then also began making withdraws on the victim’s account in Houston.
Gu and the woman posing as the victim and fictional authorized user, respectively, made withdrawals from the victim’s business and personal accounts totaling approximately $980,000 in a seven-day period. One of those purchases included a $236,000 Mercedes Benz purchased with a cashier’s check. Items found in the Mercedes allowed Secret Service agents to determine Gu knew the woman posing as the fictional account user.
The investigation into the conspiracy is ongoing.
Gu has been in custody since the date of his arrest where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The charges brought against Gu were the result of a an investigation by the United States Secret Service. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys John Jocher and Andrew Leuchtmann.