Yi Feng Reid, 48, Closter, Bergen county, and Yu Jane Chen, 42, whose last known address was Philadelphia and both charged in a 17-count State grand jury indictment with conspiracy, eight counts of theft by deception, seven counts of identity theft and one count of money laundering.
Charged in the same indictment with one count each of conspiracy, theft by deception and identity theft are George Liu, 33, and Ji Gang Chen, 53. Both men once lived in New York, and now reside in China.
According to Division of Criminal Justice Director Deborah Gramiccioni, defendants Reid and Yu Jane Chen both were involved in the mortgage and small business loan industry in the Bergen County area, and unlawfully used the identities of other people to obtain mortgages, other types of loans and unauthorized credit card accounts from 2004 through mid-2007.
Gramiccioni said some victims of the alleged identity theft gave Reid and Yu Jane Chen their personal and financial information in the process of seeking, and ultimately obtaining, a loan. In other cases, victims provided their personal information while beginning the loan process, then changed their minds and elected not to seek a loan. Those who provided Reid and Yu Jane Chen with identifying information later learned their names had been used to secure unauthorized mortgages, loans and credit cards.
Reid and Yu Jane Chen are accused of being the principal co-conspirators. With their help, co-defendant George Liu allegedly obtained two mortgages on a family member’s house totaling $314,000 by using that relative’s identity, along with false tax returns and phony employment information. Co-defendant Ji Gang Chen, also assisted by Reid and Yu Jane Chen, allegedly obtained four mortgages on a family member’s house totaling $446,000 by using the family member’s identity, as well as false employment and wage information.
In all, the four defendants are charged with obtaining seven mortgages totaling $850,000 by using stolen identities and false information. In addition, 13 bank-approved loans and credit accounts worth a total of more than $300,000 were opened using stolen identities. Numerous banks in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York were defrauded.
Among other things, Reid and Yu Jane Chen allegedly used checks, credit card transactions and cash proceeds from their unlawfully-obtained accounts to make ATM withdrawals, and to buy goods at supermarkets, gas stations, toy stores, jewelry stores and other retail outlets. Other credit and cash proceeds were allegedly used to pay for ponies to entertain Reid’s child, to pay Reid’s nanny, to pay for the EZ Pass account of a Reid family member and to pay the expenses of Reid-operated businesses. Yu Jane Chen allegedly used credit and cash proceeds to make a variety of jewelry purchases, and to pay the expenses of several businesses in which she was involved. Thousands of dollars also went to pay a spiritual adviser shared by both Reid and Yu Jane Chen. In some cases, proceeds from the unauthorized loans were used to make payments on other fraudulently-obtained credit accounts.
Most offenses charged in the Reid/Yu Jane Chen indictment are second-degree.