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Six credit card thieves charged in US court

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Six people are facing identify theft charges on suspicion of stealing more than $170,000 worth of cash, clothing and jewelry from 20 people.

The state attorney general’s office charged five South Bay residents and one Vallejo resident with multiple felony counts of identity theft, conspiracy, possession of stolen property and grand theft.

Charged were Matthew Medlin, 31, of Campbell; Jessica Campos, 30, of Santa Clara; Chev Chan, 31, of San Jose; Quang Le, 32, of Santa Clara; Daniel Lee Lesly, 31, of Los Altos; and Nick Phuong Luu, 29, of Vallejo. They were arraigned Thursday.

In late 2009, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service informed Attorney General Jerry Brown’s office that several people reported their Social Security numbers had been used to illegally apply for credit cards. The cards were traced to Chan’s home, the attorney general’s office said.

Luu and Chan are accused of being the leaders of the ring, which stole most of the identities from clients of a San Jose law office and a Santa Clara dental office, according to Brown’s office.

Between June and December of 2009, the suspects are accused of using the Social Security numbers to apply for credit cards and open fraudulent bank accounts.

The attorney general’s office said the suspects used the card and bank accounts to obtain cash and purchase jewelry, flat-screen televisions and clothing. They also returned some of the items they purchased to get cash.

Among the purchases were $31,000 worth of items from Neiman Marcus, a 55-inch flat-screen television from Sears and a $8,150 watch from Ben Bridge Jewelers.

If convicted, they face sentences that range from four years to nearly 28 years in prison.

Source: San Jose Mercury News

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