Liang Wang and Ke Xu Sentenced in U.S. District Court
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 27, 2013|
The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Helena, on June 27, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, Liang Wang, a 25-year-old resident of San Gabriel, California, and Ke Xu, a 30-year-old resident of Monterey, California, were each sentenced to a term of:
- Prison: 33 months
- Special assessment: $100
- Restitution: $76,398
- Supervised release: three years
They were sentenced in connection with their guilty pleas to wire fraud.
In an offer of proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan R. Whittaker, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
Wang, Xu, and others stole credit cards and credit card account information and then used the information from the stolen credit cards to create counterfeit means of identification. The counterfeit means of identifications were then presented to merchants in Montana wherein the defendants impersonated the true credit card account holders and thereby used the credit cards to purchase gift cards and other merchandise without authorization.
On July 28, 2012, Wang rented an automobile in Alhambra, California. Wang, Xu, and others then drove from California to Montana to commit their fraud. Upon reaching Helena on July 29, 2012, Wang, Xu, and their co-conspirators entered local merchants such as Home Depot, Albertsons stores, Macy’s Department Store, Target, Walmart, Staples, and Office Depot to make purchases with the counterfeit credit cards. Most of the items purchased by Wang, Xu, and their co-conspirators were gift cards. The gift cards varied in value ranging from approximately $200, $500, $1,000, $1,500, or $1,800 in value.
Wang, Xu, and their co-conspirators charged merchandise and goods on the victims’ credit accounts until sn account reached its credit limit. They then discarded the counterfeit credit cards. Some of these discarded cards were later found in trash.
After making all their purchases in Helena, Wang, Xu, and their co-conspirators traveled that same day to Butte and/or Bozeman, where they continued their fraudulent scheme. Evidence would have shown that the total value of the goods and merchandise purchased by members of the conspiracy using the counterfeit credit cards on July 29 totaled more than $76,000.
In total, members of the conspiracy possessed and used more than 50 different means of identification to carry out their fraud scheme.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the “truth in sentencing” guidelines mandate that they will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, they do have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for “good behavior.” However, this reduction will not exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.