Carmel man sentenced after pleading guilty in wire fraud, identity theft scheme


A Carmel man has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple counts that stemmed from a scheme to defraud victims throughout the U.S. and abroad of approximately $2 million.

According to court documents, between 2013 and 2020, Tuong Quoc Ho and his co-conspirators unlawfully obtained personally identifiable information including names, addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers, social security numbers and credit card numbers of hundreds of victims. They used that information to create fraudulent PayPal and eBay accounts in the victims’ names.

Ho then placed expensive items, such as Vera Bradley handbags, American Girl dolls, PlayStations and blood pressure monitoring devices for sale on eBay. Ho did not have the majority, if any, of the items on hand at the time of the sale, but instead purchased the items after they were sold through online retailers using stolen credit card information that he unlawfully obtained and had those items directly shipped from the retailer to the buyer. Ho and his co-conspirators sold many of the items at prices lower than market value, but still profited off those items because they were purchased with stolen credit cards.

Ho linked his personal bank information to the fake PayPal and eBay accounts and collected the money. Ho’s personal bank accounts were linked to more than 500 hundred fraudulent PayPal accounts. When PayPal suspected suspicious activity on the account, it restricted the accounts and required additional documentation to re-establish access. Ho modified and used information of identity theft victims to create fraudulent driver’s licenses, passports, utility bills and bank statements to make them appear to belong to the account holder.

In total, Ho stole more than $2 million and wired $1.2 million to family and other individuals in Vietnam. Ho also laundered the money, using more than $300,000 to purchase his home in Carmel.

On Oct. 24, 2018, Carmel Police Department officers executed search warrants at Ho’s residence and other buildings owned by Ho and arrested him on state charges. CPD recovered more than 400 packages of merchandise addressed to Ho’s alias, “Robert Parker.” At least $78,000 worth of that merchandise was purchased with stolen credit cards. Ho continued to operate his scheme after his home was searched by law enforcement until his arrest by federal authorities in 2020.

Ho pleaded guilty to 20 counts of wire fraud, two counts of aggravated identity theft, one count of possession of multiple unauthorized access devices, one count of unlawful possession of identification and two counts of money laundering.

The FBI and Carmel Police Department investigated this case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge James R. Sweeney, who ordered that Ho be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for three years following his release from federal prison and pay $217,147.87 in restitution.