The mastermind of an international credit card scheme was sentenced to 12 years in jail in Ho Chi Minh City last week.
Following a five-day trial that ended Saturday, Vuong Huy Long, 28, was convicted of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in goods from American e-commerce sites, news website VnExpress (vnexpress.net) reported.
His 11 co-conspirators received three to four years in jail for the same charge, the site said.
Starting in 2008, Long stole and purchased the details of 2,000 credit cards on several websites that share such information.
He paid dozens of people in the US to use their mailing addresses to receive goods that Long bought from US shopping sites such as Dell.com, Newegg.com, Amazon.com, and Verizon.com, most of them electronics.
Long and a Nigerian accomplice set up a website and recruited 20 such people who were called “droppers.”
Those people were paid ten percent of the value of each product they shipped to Vietnam, via major delivery brands like DHL, UPS or Fedex.
Long paid them via Western Union.
The crime was busted with the assistance of the US’s Homeland Security, who gathered evidence of the illegal purchases made by Long and several American citizens.
One dropper, Glenn Takemoto, was questioned in the US and said he did not know that the goods were bought with stolen card information.
Investigators from Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security found that Long also hired many people in northern and southern Vietnam including Hanoi and HCMC to place the orders.
Nguyen Nam Hai, 27, director of the Hanoi-based Online Export Import Solutions Limited Company, was assigned to receive the goods shipped from the US.
Hai would sell part of the goods and ship the rest to Long, in HCMC, who then sold them online or through local electronics stores.
To cover his transactions with Hai’s company, Long used a fake ID.
Long’s local co-conspirators included: Lai Nguyen Khoi who purchased around 100 BlackBerry phones between September 2009 and October 2010, and was paid VND400 million (US$18,900).
Khoi was paid another VND75 million ($3,500) by the end of March 2011.
Both Hai and Khoi were sentenced to three years in jail.
Long raked in nearly VND4 billion ($189,000) from the scam while the 11 local employees gained up to VND2 billion each.
Some victims have been identified but not all.