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Four charged after laundering $2.5 million dollars in Target gift cards

Four individuals have been accused of laundering $2.5 million dollars in Target gift cards.

The four people have been indicted by a grand jury for conspiring to launder money obtained through wire fraud by using 5,000 Target gift cards in California.

Bowen Hu, 26, of Hacienda Heights, and Tairan Shi, 27, of Diamond Bar, both Chinese nationals, were arrested on Tuesday.


Blade Bai, 33, of El Monte, a U.S. citizen, and Yan Fu, 58, of Chino Hills, also a Chinese national, are going to be summoned in November.

The four people are part of a group of scammers that call themselves the Magic Lamp, which targets older people by phone and convinces them to send money for gift cards in order to fix their computers or pay off arrest warrants for loved ones.

Acting U.S. Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison reminds people to never listen to callers claiming to be a government agency, bank, or institution looking to obtain payment by gift cards.

The group would target people and then sell gift card information to a money laundering operation online.

They also distributed the cards to people who redeemed them at Target stores for cash or other expensive products.

Bai, Hu, Shi and Fu are facing up to 20 years in prison.



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