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United States of America v. Sau Hoong Lee
Case Number: 1:19-cf-62
Judge: T.S. Ellis, III
Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Arlington County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: Gordon D. Kromberg and Joseph Attias
Call 888-354-4529 if you need help finding a criminal lawyer in Alexandria, Virginia for an identity theft case.
Alexandria, VA - Woman Sentenced to Prison for Identity Theft
A woman formerly from McLean was sentenced today to more than four years in prison for stealing the identity of a woman from Alexandria, who had been her housemate.
According to court documents, Sau Hoong Lee, 66 years old, is a native of Malaysia. Since first entering the United States at least 18 years ago, she has accumulated numerous convictions related to identity theft. Preying on other women with whom she either lived or ingratiated herself, Lee resided in this country under a series of assumed identities. Each of Lee’s identity theft schemes was built on the prior scheme’s foundation, as Lee would often introduce herself to her newest victim under the assumed name of her last victim.
In 2012, using the name of Cindy Tran (a housemate of Lee and a victim of the Lee’s earlier identity theft in California), Lee met and befriended Cindy Lin, and then stole her driver's license. Between 2014 and 2017, Lee used the identity of “Cindy Lin” to raise funds, travel around the country, and engage in various businesses, including multiple EIGC subsidiaries. Under the identity of Cindy Lin, Lee raised funds and engaged in negotiations in 2016 to purchase a controlling interest in Monumental Sports, owner of the Washington Wizards.
Using the identity of Cindy Lin, Lee convinced individuals including YD, WH, and Alan Perez, to borrow money to purchase nine Porsche and six Ferrari automobiles in their names (with purchase prices totaling more than $2 million), but for her use, in return for her promise to give them money in excess of the vehicle payments.
In June 2014, Lee was stopped for speeding in McLean, in a 2013 Ferrari, registered to WH. In September 2014, she was stopped for speeding on the Dulles Toll Road in a 2014 Porsche, registered to YD. In July 2015, she was stopped by Maryland State Police in Talbot County, while driving a 2015 Porsche 911 Turbo, registered to WH. In November 2015, she was stopped by Fairfax County Police on the Dulles Toll Road, while driving a 2016 Ferrari, registered to WH. During each of the traffic stops, Lee provided to the police the Virginia driver’s license of Cindy Lin.
In June 2016, Lee was stopped by an officer of the Sheriff’s Office in Brunswick County, while driving a 2015 Porsche 911 Turbo registered to Alan Perez. During the traffic stop, Lee provided the police officer the Virginia driver’s license of Cindy Lin.
According to Perez's letter to the Court, he was close friends with Lee and even lived with her. Perez told the Court that she reduced him and his family to financial ruin by convincing him and his parents to give her money for various activities, investments, sign over properties and buy exotic cars.
In 2017, FBI agents executed a warrant on Lee’s $14,000/month rental apartment in Los Angeles, and found there the Virginia driver’s license of Cindy Lin.
Upon her release from a California state prison in 2006, after conviction for an identity fraud offense, Lee was turned over to custody of federal immigration authorities. To avoid removal from the United States, Lee requested asylum. Under the name Sau Hoong Lee, and on the basis of an application which claimed that she had never used any other name, Lee was granted deferral of removal from the United States.
According to evidence received from the government of Malaysia, a 66-year-old woman by the name of Sau Hoong Lee reported to Malaysian authorities that her identity was being used by a woman in America. Today, Lee admitted in Court that she was born Siew Im Cheah in 1959, and started using the name Sau Hoong Lee about 20 years ago.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Timothy R. Slater, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III.
Outcome: 10/01/2019 49 Sealed Order as to Sau Hoong Lee. Signed by District Judge T. S. Ellis, III on 10/01/2019. (tran) (Entered: 10/01/2019)
10/01/2019 51 RESPONSE by Sau Hoong Lee to the Position of the United States with Respect to Sentencing (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - Abstract of Judgment, # 2 Exhibit B - Abstract of Judgment, # 3 Exhibit C - Abstract of Judgment, # 4 Exhibit D - Notification of Detainer, # 5 Exhibit E - Notification of Detainer)(Hicks, Billy) (Entered: 10/01/2019)
10/01/2019 52 Reply by USA as to Sau Hoong Lee re 51 Response, to the Position of the United States with Respect to Sentencing Factors (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Declaration of FBI Special Agent Starr, # 2 Exhibit Transcript of Hearings in Immigration Court (excerpts), # 3 Exhibit Immigration Application (excerpts))(Kromberg, Gordon) (Entered: 10/01/2019)
10/01/2019 53 NOTICE OF OF THIRD FILING OF A STATEMENT OF AN INDIVIDUAL ASSERTING STATUS AS A VICTIM by USA as to Sau Hoong Lee (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Letter of Keith Houston)(Kromberg, Gordon) (Entered: 10/01/2019)
10/02/2019 54 Objection by Sau Hoong Lee to Government's Filing of Written Statements (Hicks, Billy) (Entered: 10/02/2019)
10/02/2019 55 REPLY TO RESPONSE to USA as to Sau Hoong Lee re 51 Response, TO POSITION OF THE UNITED STATES ON SENTENCING (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Criminal complaint issued against the defendant in Beverly Hills, California on January 25, 2012, # 2 Exhibit Criminal complaint issued against the defendant in Monterey Park, California on May 15, 2013)(Kromberg, Gordon) (Entered: 10/02/2019)
10/03/2019 56 RESPONSE by USA as to Sau Hoong Lee SUPPLEMENT TO REPLY TO DEFENSES POSITION ON SENTENCING (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Affidavit of FBI SA Starr, # 2 Exhibit Transcript of Testimony of FBI SA Starr)(Kromberg, Gordon) (Entered: 10/03/2019)
10/04/2019 57 NOTICE of Filing of Exhibits Received from the Government of Malaysia by USA as to Sau Hoong Lee (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Public Records from the Government of Malaysia re: Sau Hoong Lee and Siew Im Cheah, # 2 Exhibit Records from the Government of Malaysia re: Statement of Sau Hoong Lee)(Kromberg, Gordon) (Entered: 10/04/2019)
10/04/2019 58 NOTICE Corrected Notice of Filing of Exhibits Received from the Government of Malaysia by USA as to Sau Hoong Lee re 57 Notice (Other), (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Records Received from the Government of Malaysia re: Sau Hoong Lee and Siew Im Cheah, # 2 Exhibit Records Received from the Government of Malaysia re: Statement of Sau Hoong Lee)(Kromberg, Gordon) (Entered: 10/04/2019)