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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Identity thief gets 11 years

A California Federal Court sentenced Garden Grove, California man to eleven years in prison for masterminding two identity theft schemes that allowed him to steal personal information from hundreds of consumers.  He then stole their identities, using the consumers' identities to fraudulently obtain over $1.5 million from credit card accounts and home equity lines of credit.

In additon to his sentencing, Martin Quoc Pham was also ordered to pay restitution of nearly $538,000.  While Pham used the stolen identities to access legitimate home equity lines of credit with Chase Bank, I representing a plaintiff in a similar case involving Bank of America.  While the identity thief initially begins the consumers' nightmare, it is the banks that keep the problem going.  In my case, Bank of America made error after error, completely ignoring my client's proof of his innocence.

In another scheme, Pham used fraud credit cards to buy merchandise from Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores. Pham and his cohorts were able to obtain over $300,000 in merchandise fraudulently.  Pham's three co-conspirators already pled guilty to the scheme.

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