Counterfeit credit card ring busted in Flushing

Three Flushing residents spent over $100,000 using bogus credit cards.
By Gina Martinez

A Flushing-based counterfeit credit card ring has been dismantled, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Three Flushing residents were charged with running a counterfeit credit card operation in which they allegedly forged charge cards and made tens of thousands of dollars in purchases of designer fragrances, makeup and skin care products, the DA said. Police also allegedly found drugs, handguns and ammunition in the house they shared with a 2-year-old.

The Quince Avenue residents were identified as Jinwei Chen, 34; Deng Deng Li, 27; and Yue Yuan, 27. According to the criminal complaint filed by the DA’s office, police executed a court-authorized search warrant on their Flushing home March 9 and allegedly found a loaded .380 caliber Smith & Wesson firearm, a loaded 9mm Taurus Millennium G2 handgun and ammunition. The complaint said police also allegedly recovered two credit card embossers, two credit card reader/writer machines, two credit card stampers, over 400 forged credit cards, 85 fake driver’s licenses and 750 blank credit cards and a box containing the drug, ketamine.

Chen, Li and Yuan were arraigned in Queens Criminal Court last week on a complaint charging them with grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a forged instrument, of forgery devices, of a firearm and endangering the welfare of a child.

Brown said that police also found receipts for purchases made at Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and other department stores, along with more than $22,000 in cash. Police also allegedly recovered $100,000 of unopened packages of Lancome, Clinique, Shiseido, Yves Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, Chanel, Gucci and Cartier makeup, fragrances and skin care items. Brown said there were also Beats by Dre headphones, Canada Goose winter coats and cell phones.

The DA said his office will continue to work diligently to eradicate this kind of credit card fraud and to keep illegal guns off the streets of Queens.

“The defendants in this case are accused of operating a sophisticated credit card manufacturing mill with embossing machines, card writers and hundreds of blank credit cards,” he said. “Police also allegedly recovered receipts from numerous purchases made at high-end department stores. The defendants’ alleged crimes not only victimized the department stores, but also consumers. Furthermore, police allegedly recovered illegal guns and ammunition and drugs in the home where a 2-year-old baby lives.”

According to Brown, Yuan was released on her own recognizance. Brown said bail was set at $100,000 and $50,000 for Chen and Li, respectively. They were expected in court April 17.

Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmartinez@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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