It turns out that if you want to steal a clean million from banks and your fellow man, it just requires some fake IDs, paperwork, and a little bit of strategy.
That's according to a recent grand jury indictment from the Department of Justice, which alleges that two men from Brooklyn Park -- Vinh Xuan Ngo and Norinh Inthonepradith -- put their heads together and managed to allegedly attempt to steal more than $1 million.
To follow the path of this whole escapade, let us take you on the journey of just one of the alleged victims, mysteriously named in the suit as "P.T." Now, mind you, there were many, many other victims named in the case, with "P.T." playing a small, but crucial, part.
To steal this victim's money, Vinh Xuan Ngo and Norinh Inthonepradith couldn't just find some bank numbers and start stealing. For them, this was a meticulous process, first requiring the two to intricately craft a Minnesota driver's license in the name of "P.T.," but with Inthonepradith's picture.
With the counterfeit license in hand, Inthonepradith was able to walk right in to a TCF Bank in Minneapolis and open up a checking account, brand new and ready to taken advantage of.
This was done over and over again, the indictment says -- the duo taking over existing accounts and creating new ones to send money in and out, before ultimately withdrawing the cash and keeping it for themselves. It was all done piece by piece. Around $14,000 here, nearly $10,000 there. That, plus an entirely different scheme of stealing credit card numbers to buy thousands of dollars' worth of gift cards at places like Best Buy and Sam's Club, left the duo fat and happy.
It was a large, beautiful web of white-collar crime, with a total attempted sum of around a million dollars. Bank fraud: It's a good deal if you can pull it off. But most of the time, you can't.