SAN JOSE -- Police have arrested three people suspected of operating a sophisticated identity theft ring described by Secret Service agents as "the most extensive and inclusive" operation seen in the South Bay.
San Jose police on Wednesday announced Toan Nguyen, 35; Kent Do, 27; and Mai Huang, 33; all of San Jose, were arrested May 1 on suspicion of identity theft, fraud, grand theft and counterfeiting, according to a department news release.
All three were booked into the Santa Clara County Jail and have been charged with forgery, counterfeiting, credit card fraud, possession of equipment to manufacture fraudulent documents, and illegally obtaining personal identifying information, all felonies. Their bail is set at $5 million.
Police are looking for two other suspects allegedly involved in the ring.
The investigation started last year when an 85-year-old man lost about $100,000 after a checkbook was stolen from his home during a burglary, according to police. Detectives say the suspects stole the checkbook and began an elaborate fraud scheme using other victims' identities to drain the man's bank accounts.
The investigation by Financial Crimes Unit Detective Brian Pettis culminated May 1 when MERGE officers served a search warrant at the suspects' home and caught two of them in the act of committing identity theft online, according to police.
Police recovered weapons, drugs and equipment and supplies to make fraudulent credit cards, driver's licenses, counterfeit money, and fraudulent checks.
The additional victims' information appeared to have been acquired through burglaries, mail theft and other means, according to police. U.S. Secret Service agents from the San Jose office who assisted in the search described the scheme as "the most extensive and inclusive operation" they had seen for identity theft in the San Jose area, police said.
Police are attempting to locate two other suspects, 39-year-old Thach Duong and 44-year-old Tri Nguyen.
Anyone with information regarding the three suspects in custody or the whereabouts of the two outstanding suspects are urged to contact Pettis at 408-277-4521. Persons with information regarding this case are urged to call Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408- 947-STOP (7867) or may visit www.tipsubmit.com/ and may be eligible for a cash reward.
Contact Mark Gomez at 408-920-5869. Follow him on Twitter.com/markmgomez.