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A Short Ride|in a Mercedes

HOUSTON (CN) - A federal grand jury indicted a Houston man in an identity theft scheme based in New York, some of whose proceeds the ring used to buy a $236,000 Mercedes, prosecutors said.

Xin Gu, 27, was charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, fraudulent use of a passport and aggravated identity theft, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

"The indictment alleges that Gu's co-conspirators entered a Chase Bank branch in New York City and presented false documents, including a counterfeit passport, to help them pose as the victim in this case in order to add an extra user to his account," prosecutors said in the statement.

"One of the co-conspirators, posing as the person added to the account, then made several withdrawals on the victim's account in the Houston area, including one withdrawal for a cashier's check that was used to buy a $236,000 Mercedes," according to the statement.

"It was then, the indictment alleges, that Gu entered various Chase Bank branches in the Houston area using a fake passport to pose as the victim himself and make several withdrawals from his account."

Gu is in jail on related state charges, and will be transferred to federal custody for further criminal proceedings, prosecutors said.

If convicted of all charges, Gu faces up to 45 years in federal prison, prosecutors said.

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