Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento woman pleads guilty to role in credit card fraud conspiracy

A 27-year-old Sacramento woman has pleaded guilty in a credit card fraud scheme that authorities say affected at least 1,800 victims.

Kay Lee entered the pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to conspiracy to commit access-device fraud and aggravated identity theft, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release.

Court documents indicate that from July 2014 to April 2015, Lee participated in a scheme that involved at least 500 unauthorized and counterfeit credit and debit cards, and led to an estimated loss of $186,000.

Lee and co-defendants allegedly stole or possessed stolen mail, created or received fraudulent credit and debit cards, and made fraudulent purchases totaling thousands of dollars using the cards at national retail stores, such as Target, in the Sacramento area.

According to the plea agreement, Lee altered one business’ checks for more than $1,700 and deposited it in her personal checking account, put a victim’s mail on hold without that person’s permission, took over a victim’s Target store account using another victim’s identity and proceeded make other unauthorized purchases using that account. On one occasion in September 2014, Lee used one victim’s credit card account number to purchase more than $1,000 in tires and related services for her car, while using another victim’s identity as the purchaser.

Lee remains in custody and is to be sentenced April 7 by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley.

Authorities said charges are pending against four co-defendants and a status conference for them is set for Feb. 26.

The case resulted from an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy