BELVIDERE, NJ (Warren County) – A New York City man was sentenced to state prison Friday for trafficking fraudulent credit and debit cards manufactured using stolen personal identifying information, according to Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal.
Sungwoo Han, 32, of Queens, NY, was sentenced to three years in state prison by Superior Court Judge H. Matthew Curry in Warren County. Han pleaded guilty on May 10, 2019 to second-degree trafficking in personal identifying information of another.
Han was arrested on Nov. 26, 2017 after he was stopped by a member of the New Jersey State Police for speeding and other moving violations on Interstate 80 in Allamuchy Township.
There was an odor of raw marijuana in the vehicle and Han presented the state trooper with a fraudulent learner’s permit in a phony name. After Han was arrested, the state trooper found seven fraudulent credit cards on his person, along with a small amount of methamphetamine. A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed 30 more fraudulent credit and debit cards, six additional fraudulent identification cards, over one ounce of marijuana, and several methamphetamine and marijuana pipes.
A further investigation revealed that Han was obtaining stolen personal identifying information on the “dark web” which was used to generate fraudulent credit and debit cards. A search of his smart phone revealed over 400 sets of personal identifying information, including names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and birth dates. Han admitted that he sold the fraudulent credit and debit cards for $100 each in various states across the region.
“Phony plastic is a growing problem thanks to criminals like Han who buy stolen credit card information on the dark web and manufacture fake cards that can be fraudulently used to make purchases,” said Attorney General Grewal. “By sending this defendant to prison, we send a strong message that we will aggressively prosecute this type of financial fraud.”
“Fraud of this type results in major losses to the financial service and retail industries and can impose significant costs and burdens on those whose identities are stolen,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We will continue to work with the New Jersey State Police and other law enforcement partners to apprehend and prosecute these criminals who traffic in stolen personal identifying information.”
“Although criminals who engage in identity theft are often highly proficient using today’s technology, sometimes catching them begins with old fashioned, proactive police work, like a trooper who conducts a motor vehicle stop and uses his training and experience to uncover criminal activity,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. “We will continue to pursue criminals whether they are on our roadways or internet highways and work cooperatively with our partners to ensure justice is served.”