ASIAN WOMEN CAUGHT IN $900,000 FRAUD SCHEME POSING AS IRS AGENTS, CHARGES SAY
Ailing Lu, 25 and Ji Hyun Lee, 25, were both arrested in a fraud scheme where they allegedly posed as IRS agents.
The two women reside in Los Angeles and are believed to be part of a national fraud ring. They were arrested in September 2019 on suspicion of posing as employees from the Internal Revenue Service in a phone scam that may have bilked several victims out of $900,000.
The investigation began on September 4th, 2019 when a male victim received a “cold call” from a scammer impersonating the Internal Revenue Service. The caller threatened to arrest the victim if he didn’t pay the caller in $2,200.00 of Target gift cards.
The unsuspecting victim complied and purchased the Target gift cards. The victim furnished the gift cards to the caller and later reported the incident to Fontana Police.
Fontana detectives tracked the redemption of the cards to a Target store in the Los Angeles area. Detectives and Target’s Loss Prevention Team worked together to locate surveillance video of the transactions. Target’s Loss Prevention Unit recalled a similar case where Indiana University Police were investigating a similar incident. Fontana detectives and Loss Prevention Agents compared the videos and determined the same female suspect conducted the transactions.
The two suspects were identified as Ailing Lu of Los Angeles and Ji Hyun Lee of Gardena.
Detectives conducted surveillance on the suspects' locations and vehicles in the Los Angeles Area. Detectives stopped several vehicles during the surveillance and located items purchased with the gift cards. Detectives served search warrants on two locations and located approximately $900,000.00 in new goods including electronics, gift cards and other items purchased with gift cards from unsuspecting victims.
Lu and Lee were then arrested.