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Many Chinese immigrants fall victim to credit card scheme

Nov 17, 2011 Matt Roesly

According to Migration Information Source, approximately 35 percent of the United State's current foreign-born Chinese civilians immigrated during the 1990s, and a portion of them were unknowing victims of a multi-million dollar ponzi-scheme. In Palisades Park, New Jersey 47-year-old Sung-Sil Joh pleaded guilty on Thursday to an identity theft and bank fraud scheme, reports. In September of 2010, Joh was arrested after authorities broke a plan headed by Sang-Hyun Park, 44, that conspired to develop fake identification documents. Joh was one of 53 suspects that were arraigned. The scam obtained Social Security cards that were distributed during the 1990s to Chinese citizens residing in American territories, such as American Samoa, Guam and Saipan. With the Social Security information, bank accounts were opened and credit cards were used fraudulently. In total, the scheme cost banks and credit card companies more than $4 million, the news source explains. Joh confessed to providing Social Security information, money, names and birthdates to conspirators who built up good credit on the stolen identities and eventually opened up fraudulent credit cards. Joh has been freed after posting a $250,000 bail, but faces up to 37 years in prison and $1.2 million in fines upon her sentencing, according to the news source.