Back on March 30, Ninh Nguyen, 58, was arrested at the Walmart on Tomball Parkway for shoplifting 32 Walmart gift cards, according to the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
But as it turned out, investigators said, that wasn't all he had. Today the Houston man was convicted of "access device fraud," United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced.
In entering his guilty plea, Nguyen admitted "he possessed 15 or more credit card account numbers that had been stolen or obtained with intent to defraud," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
According to court records, investigators found that Nguyen also had "more than 250 credit, debit and other gift cards. Many of the cards were in Nguyen's name, but some were in his wife's name and in the names of others."
All of the cards were analyzed and 27 were found to have magnetic strips encoded with numbers and accountholder information that did not match the number or name on the front of the card. The true accountholders for the 27 re-encoded cards were contacted and all stated that they had not given Nguyen permission to possess their card numbers or to re-encode them onto credit, debit or gift cards.
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Sentencing is scheduled for January 13 in U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller's court. Nguyen faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.