Chinese call center ‘Runner’ pleads guilty in Georgia

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This week, the Justice Department received a guilty plea from Jianjie Liu, a Chinese citizen living in Texas.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga/pr/chinese-national-pleads-guilty-money-laundering-scheme

In call center fraud, many roles can be played. One of these roles is often referred to as “Runner”. When citizens of other countries manage the phones and Facebook accounts used for fraudulent purposes, they often need someone in the United States to pick up packages and open bank accounts. From this point of view, Liu was a Runner.

The case began when Liu was arrested at a Walmart in Duluth, Georgia, after attempting to purchase “a suspicious number of gift cards.” During that arrest, his black 2016 Nissan Altima was searched and found to contain 718 gift cards, primarily WalMart, Vanilla Mastercard and American Express gift cards. he also had a deposit slip showing that she controlled a JP Morgan Chase bank account ending in #5887. The bank account was linked to his business license in Gwinnett County, Georgia, for “A&J Commercial Services,” which used an address of 16634 Roseglade Drive, Cypress, TX 77429.

The 16,000 images on his phone were reviewed and contained numerous images of gift cards with accompanying purchase receipts.

From May 30, 2019 to September 30, 2019, Liu deposited at least $70,400 into his Chase account with elderly fraud victims. These funds were all seized by the U.S. Secret Service, but many other victims and types of victims have been described in court records:

As part of a “government grant scam”, an elderly “JB” received a message from a friend on Facebook, telling him about a $150,000 government grant he could receive. He sent $2,500 in cash to an address in Heath, Ohio; 4,000 to an address in Atlanta, Georgia; $4,500 to an address in Newark, New Jersey, and was then asked to purchase gift cards from a Walmart in Washington and message them to “Agent Walter” (which were then forwarded to Liu, who used these cards to purchase OTHER gift cards!)

In “inheritance scam,” a woman using a Facebook account named “Fola V. Williams Fly” asked a 64-year-old man from Cheyenne, Wyoming, to help her receive a multi-million dollar inheritance by paying various fees. He sent two cashier’s checks in the amount of $10,000 each, payable to Jianjie Liu at the address 3182 Steve Reynolds Blvd, #105, Duluth, GA 30096.

In ‘IT support scam’, someone claiming to be Microsoft’s ‘Allen Johnson’ took control of a victim’s computer, claiming they needed remote access to his bank account to process a $300 refund. Instead, he pretended to deposit $3,000, claiming it was a mistake. He then asked the victim to repay $2,600 in erroneous funds, sending three money orders to Liu in Duluth, Georgia.

An identical process was used by someone claiming to repay $555, but “accidentally” depositing $20,555 instead. The victim, an 89-year-old priest from St. Paul, Minnesota, sent the “accidental” $20,000 by cashier’s check to Joy Liu, A&J Commercial Services, 3182 Steve Reynolds Blvd, Duluth, GA.

In a ‘grandparent scam,’ ‘Sergeant Jonathan Parker’ called one of the elderly victims, claiming their teenage grandson had been arrested for assaulting a police officer and needed to post bail $9,000. He mailed a box containing $9,000 in cash to an address in Las Vegas, Nevada. A few days later, Sergeant Parker demanded an additional $15,000 to settle the matter out of court. He again sent a box full of money to Las Vegas. He was then asked to send $5,000 to pay the medical bills of “Officer Joyce Phillips” and this time he sent a personal check to “Joyce Phillips” of A&J Commercial Services, 3182 Steve Reynolds Boulevard , Duluth, GA 30096.

In a “compromised SSN scam,” another elderly victim was told she was under investigation by the IRS and that during the investigation, to protect her funds, he was to convert all his money into gift cards, which would be held in escrow in the meantime. the results of the investigation. These gift cards were used by Liu to purchase gift cards at the Walmart in Duluth, Georgia.

Liu posted $10,000 bail and, shockingly, failed to appear in court again.

She was arrested again in Pearland, Texas on January 6, 2021 for theft, where she was found to have an outstanding warrant for her arrest.

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