Fitchburg Fraud Defendant Sentenced
MADISON, WIS. - John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Sang T. Danh, 34, originally of San Bernardino, Calif., was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb to 84 months in federal prison for his role in a 2010 fraud scheme involving a now-defunct nail salon on McKee Road in Fitchburg, Wis.
On February 3, 2012, after a five-day trial before Judge Crabb in U.S. District Court in Madison, the jury returned guilty verdicts against Danh for bank fraud, possessing and trafficking in unauthorized access devices, and attempting to persuade a co-defendant, Dung P. Thi, to destroy evidence. Thi, also of San Bernardino, pled guilty to bank fraud on May 25, 2011, and was sentenced to 36 months in prison on August 29, 2011.
The trial evidence showed that Danh and Thi ran the Fitchburg nail salon and insisted that customers use debit cards to pay for services. Unbeknownst to the customers, Danh and Thi “skimmed” the electronic information from the debit cards and videotaped the customers entering “PIN” numbers during transactions. The trial evidence showed that Danh shipped debit card information to Southern California where unknown confederates accessed ATM machines and drained more than $77,000 from nail salon customer accounts. Of this amount, more than $30,000 was deposited to Danh’s Wells Fargo account. The deposits to Danh’s account occurred contemporaneously with the fraudulent California debit card withdrawals and at Southern California Wells Fargo Bank branches near where the fraudulent ATM withdrawals occurred.
Danh was released pending sentencing, fled, never appeared for his sentencing hearing, and remains a fugitive. Consistent with Seventh Circuit law, the United States moved for sentencing in absentia. Judge Crabb agreed and today sentenced Danh to 84 months in prison for his role in the offense. This sentence will be served in its entirety after Danh’s arrest.
U.S. Attorney Vaudreuil thanked the Fitchburg Police Department, U.S. Secret Service, Dane County Sheriff’s Office, and numerous financial institutions—particularly, the UW Credit Union—for devoting the resources to investigate this complicated, multi-district fraud scheme.
U.S. Attorney Vaudreuil also stated, “Experience has shown, time after time, that the U.S. Marshals Service successfully tracks down criminals who try to run and live in the shadows. I have full confidence that the Marshals Service will capture Danh and bring him to justice.”
The prosecution of this case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy M. O’Shea.