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Gun-toting meth addict gets 12 years for ID theft

Phisher of 38,500 men

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A California man has been sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for his role in an international phishing ring that stole the identities of more than 38,000 people.

Tien Truong Nguyen, 34, of Long Beach, received the 151-month sentence from US District Judge Morrison C. England, who called the phisher of men “a one-man wrecking crew when it comes to identity theft.” According to court documents, Nguyen and two cohorts used identities stolen from users of PayPal and other financial services to fraudulently obtain merchandise worth about $200,000 from Wal-Mart stores.

Investigators searching his home found a computer that contained names, dates of birth, and social security numbers for 38,500 people, prosecutors said. Investigators also found a Remington 870 Magnum Express shotgun that stood up vertically behind Nguyen's computer stand, some near-by ammunition, and a feed from a complex surveillance system. With previous convictions for property crimes and narcotics offenses, Nguyen wasn't allowed to posses firearms.

When Nguyen pleaded guilty in 2009, he said his addiction to methamphetamine drove him to life as an identity thief. Many more details about Nguyen's life as a methed-out phisher with a penchant for guns can be found in our previous coverage. ®

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