Sugarland Resident Pleads Guilty to Aggravated Identity Theft in $520,000 Fraud Scheme

n a recent development, a 37-year-old Sugarland resident, Xiaofei Chen, has pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft in connection with a fraudulent scheme. The scheme involved obtaining and laundering more than $500,000, as announced by U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Chen confessed to orchestrating a fraudulent wire transfer of $520,000 from the victim’s checking account. He accomplished this by opening a Bitstamp cryptocurrency exchange account using the victim’s name and driver’s license, without the victim’s knowledge or consent.

Following the wire transfer, Chen used the Bitstamp account and other cryptocurrency accounts to convert the funds into Bitcoin. He then laundered the Bitcoin through multiple transactions.

U.S. District Judge Alfred H. Bennett accepted Chen’s guilty plea. Sentencing has been scheduled for January 18, 2024, during which Chen is expected to face a mandatory two-year prison term. Despite the guilty plea, Chen has been allowed to remain on bond until the sentencing hearing.

The investigation into this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).