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Press Release

Houston Man Sentenced After Using Counterfeit Cards in Nearly 400 Transactions at Sam’s Club

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

HOUSTON – Guang Fa Lin, 47, has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of using counterfeit access devices, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Lin pleaded guilty Jan. 26, 2015.

Today, U.S. District Judge Sim Lake, who accepted the guilty plea, handed Lin a 24-month sentence and further ordered he pay $206,236.92 in restitution. In handing down the sentence, Judge Lake noted that Lin was to not possess any credit cards without approval and engage in any employment involving a fiduciary role. Lin resided in Houston but has no legal status in the U.S. and is expected to face deportation proceedings following his release from prison.

At the time of his plea, Lin admitted that between 2012 and 2013, he used counterfeit credit cards, debit cards and credit and debit account numbers to obtain goods, services and other things of value. Lin used scores of credit and debit cards in approximately 395 transactions under various Sam’s Club Memberships bearing different identifying information to purchase items such as cigarettes, iPads, gum and gift cards.

The counterfeit cards bore account numbers banks and other financial institutions issued to account holders, many of whom reside outside of Texas. As a result, Lin caused more than $200,000 in losses.  

He will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The charges are the result of an investigation by U.S. Secret Service. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Stephen L. Corso prosecuted the case. AUSA Suzanne Elmilady handled the sentencing hearing today.

Updated July 7, 2015