Prison sentence for credit card scheme

A 28-year-old Washington state man, who was arrested by Wilton police last year, was  was sentenced yesterday, Oct. 30, by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to 30 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release, for fraud and identity theft, offenses stemming from a credit card fraud scheme.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between approximately December 2016 and February 2017, Elijah Chin of Federal Way, Washington, was involved in a scheme in which credit card accounts were opened electronically using personal identifying information from Connecticut residents.  

After the credit card issuers mailed credit cards to the victims’ home addresses, Chin took the cards directly from the victims’ mailboxes. Chin then used the credit cards to purchase gift cards, prepaid cards and other items totaling $63,941.60 at various retail establishments in Connecticut.

In February 2017, Wilton police were investigating 20 cases of identity theft involving credit cards, many of which were from the Thunder Lake Road area. Chin, who was a resident of Gardena, Calif., at the time, was a suspect. According the report police issued at the time, Chin was found to be driving a car that matched the description of a suspicious vehicle reported around mailboxes in that area for several days. He also matched the description of the driver.

Chin was pulled over Feb. 23, 2017, near Whipstick Road and Nod Hill Road and was found to have mail and a credit card in the name of a Pipers Hill Road resident in his lap. Chin was taken into custody and charged with sixth-degree larceny, third-degree identity theft, attempt at trafficking in personal identifying information, and possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana. He was released on bond and had a March 6 court date. A search of the Norwalk Superior Court docket found the file in that case to be statutorily sealed.

On April 30, 2018, Chin pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft in district court in Hartford. Judge Shea ordered him to pay full restitution.

Chin, who is released on bond, was ordered to report to prison on Dec. 28.