New York – Three men, Zhong Shi Gao, Naifeng Xu, and Fei Jiang, were arrested for allegedly defrauding New York-area banks out of more than $10 million. The trio reportedly posed as victims of fraudulent money transfers, leading banks to credit them with additional funds, effectively doubling their money.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams stated, “These charges should serve as a warning to fraudsters and cybercriminals who think they can turn to cryptocurrency to hide their identities – together with our partner agencies, we will find you and hold you accountable for your crimes.” Between 2018 and 2022, the accused men targeted nearly a dozen financial institutions in the New York metropolitan area. They then attempted to launder the stolen money through cryptocurrency, according to the indictment.
Each man faces four charges in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York: bank fraud conspiracy, conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution, money laundering conspiracy, and aggravated identity theft. The combined maximum sentence for all these charges could reach nearly 100 years.
Authorities revealed the scheme relied on foreign nationals from China and Taiwan to open U.S. bank accounts used for managing the fraudulent transfers.