U.S. Department of Justice

United States Attorney
District of Minnesota

October 27, 2010

Three Indicted for Stealing Identities, Obtaining More than $150,000 from Victims

A federal indictment was recently unsealed in federal court in the District of Minnesota, alleging that three Twin Cities-area residents used the names and personal identification information of others to apply for and receive credit cards and open bank accounts, which they then used to get cash advances totaling more than $150,000. The indictment, which was filed on September 15, 2010, charges Jason Richard Hansen, age 32, of Crystal; Jason Elliott Clark, age 39, of Cottage Grove; and Nou Thao, age 33, of Maplewood, with one count of bank fraud conspiracy and one count of identity theft. In addition, Hansen was charged with four counts of access device fraud, four counts of bank fraud, and four counts of aggravated identity theft. Clark was also charged with two counts of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. And, Thao was charged with four counts of bank fraud, four counts of access device fraud, and three counts of aggravated identity theft. The indictment was unsealed on October 22, 2010, following Clark’s initial appearance in federal court.

The indictment alleges that from March of 2007 through August of 2008, the defendants conspired to obtain bank funds from the accounts of others by creating counterfeit checks that included stolen bank routing numbers and account numbers. The indictment also alleges that the defendants used the name and personal information of another person with the intent to commit bank fraud and access device fraud.

Specifically, the bank fraud charges are the result of unlawful transfers and withdrawals from the bank accounts of the crime victims. The access device fraud charges relate to each time a fraudulently obtained credit card was used to get cash. And, the aggravated identity theft charges correspond with five occasions when the defendants used the identification of another person without authority.

If convicted, the defendants face a potential maximum penalty of 30 years in prison on the conspiracy charge, 30 years on each bank fraud count, 15 years on the identity theft charge, 10 years on each access device fraud count, and a mandatory minimum of two years on each aggravated identity theft count. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge.

This case is the result of an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement- Homeland Security Investigations, and the Minnesota State Patrol.

The USPIS and the Minnesota U.S. Attorney’s Office want to remind people to protect themselves from identity theft. For more information, visit http://www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idtheft.html.

This law enforcement action is in part sponsored by the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The Task Force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. It includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement, who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The Task Force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch and, with state and local partners, investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

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