An Atlanta man was sentenced to federal prison for aggravated identity theft.
On October 19, Khoi Nguyen, 43, was sentenced as a part of a scheme where he stole the identity of an unwitting victim, then subsequently opened a fraudulent online bank account at Branch Banking and Trust (BB&T) bank.
“Nguyen brazenly stole thousands of dollars from a financial institution to line his pockets,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “The defendant impersonated a federal agent to try to cover his tracks, but fortunately an alert bank employee and the quick response from law enforcement brought his identity theft scheme to a halt.”
“There is no telling how far this fraud scheme would have gone without the alert response from bank employees and the Atlanta Police Department,” according to Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Identity fraud affects so many people, not only the individual victim, but also in this case the bank and its customers. The FBI is committed to doing our best to protect the public from identity theft.”
“Identity theft is a serious crime that has an awful impact on people’s lives, costing them not only money, but precious time and resources to fix,” said Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields. “I’m proud of our team’s work in partnership with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney to ensure criminals like Nguyen suffer the consequences of preying on hard-working people’s finances.”
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges and other information presented in court: Around December 2017, Nguyen opened a fraudulent account online at BB&T Bank in the name of a victim. Nguyen visited a BB&T Bank branch in Atlanta on more than one occasion impersonating the victim. When Nguyen was encountered by law enforcement, he falsely claimed that he was a federal agent and was arrested. At the time of his arrest, Nguyen possessed more than $11,000 in cash, 20 iPhones bearing stickers denoting portions of phone numbers or complete phone numbers and/or initials, fraudulent Department of Defense identification documents with different names, various state driver’s licenses containing Nguyen’s photograph with different names, bank and debit cards in various names, gift cards with various institutions, and documents in the name of the victim whose identity Nguyen used to open an account at BB&T Bank.
Khoi Nguyen, 43, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg to two years in prison to be followed by one year of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $3,208.43 in restitution to BB&T Bank. Nguyen pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft on July 23, 2018.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Atlanta Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan J. Huschka prosecuted the case.