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Man Charged after he Scammed Old Woman with $1.5M Fraud, FBI caught him after Woman contacted Police and Tracked him with Fake Gold Bar

Man Charged after he Scammed Old Woman with $1.5M Fraud, FBI caught him after Woman contacted Police and Tracked him with Fake Gold Bar

San Diego, CA: A man was charged after he with a group of other scammers targeted a 70-year-old woman and scammed her with nearly $1.5 Million USD in the form of Bitcoins and gold bars. The man is identified as Xilin Sun.

Xilin Sun appeared in federal court today, facing charges related to a multinational fraud conspiracy. The alleged scheme targeted a 70-year-old retiree from Carlsbad. The identity of the woman has not been revealed as per her request.

The complaint reveals that the San Diego Elder Justice Task Force became aware of the fraudulent scheme when the victim reported the fraud to Carlsbad police. She had been deceived for several months by individuals pretending to be government, bank, and tech-support employees.

According to her, she was using her computer when a pop-up window suddenly appeared, prompting her to seek assistance due to a suspected hacking incident.

During the call, she was passed around a network of individuals posing as tech support workers, who instructed her to install software on her computer. She was informed that her personal identifying and bank account information had been compromised.

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She was then directed to individuals pretending to be employees from her financial institutions. The victim was then advised to protect her assets. Under the guidance of an individual impersonating a bank employee, she deposited around $55,700 into Bitcoin ATMs situated in North County San Diego.

They managed to persuade her that she could protect her funds by acquiring gold bars and sending them to the U.S. treasury, where a locker would be created in her name. Within a span of two months, the victim willingly transferred a substantial amount of money, totaling around $1,335,000, through three separate wire transfers to a precious metal business situated in San Marcos, California.

After the wire transfers were finished, the victim received instructions to collect the purchased precious metals, which mainly included gold, and prepare them for packaging. The victim was instructed to give the package to someone who claimed it would be kept safe. The victim fell prey to a scam and lost her entire life savings.

In February 2024, the scammers once again contacted the victim and directed her to buy an additional $100,000 worth of gold, as stated in the complaint. On this occasion, the victim reached out to the FBI, who arranged a controlled delivery of a package designed to appear as if it held $100,000 worth of gold.

The incident detailed the victim’s encounter with one of the individuals involved outside a bank in Carlsbad. After delivering the package to the accomplice, agents from the task force closely trailed the initial individual. They traveled a distance of around two miles before transferring the package to a second individual, who was later revealed to be defendant Xilin Sun.

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The California Highway Patrol stopped Sun, according to the complaint. Investigators found the counterfeit gold package and the victim’s receipt in Sun’s vehicle. Agents discovered more evidence connecting Sun to the victim, such as photographs of the counterfeit gold that the victim had sent to the conspirators via phone, an invoice copy, and the gold receipt.

Sun, 35 and Ontario, California resident, faces the maximum penalty of 30 years in prison with $1 million in fine and restitution. The charges brought against him are:

  • Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud.
  • Criminal Forfeiture.

“If you think you may have been scammed, report it immediately,” said U.S. Attorney Tara McGrath. “These schemes are organized by sophisticated global networks with the ability to fool even the most savvy computer users. But if victims report quickly, we have a better chance of catching the scammers and retrieving stolen money.”

The San Diego Elder Justice Task Force, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, Carlsbad Police Department, San Diego Police Department, and the California Highway Patrol are all investigating the matter to find other scammers involved in the act.

Reference: United States Attorney’s Office

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