On Tuesday, July 3, three defendants were sentenced after their conviction for identity theft-related crimes. Defendant Lom Nguyen (age 41) was sentenced to 10 years and 8 months in prison. Co-defendant, Jeanne Macias Mendoza, was sentenced to 7 years in prison. The second co-defendant, Kimi Matsuno, was sentenced to 5 years in prison.
On October 25, 2017, Ripon police officers responded to a call from Save Mart supermarket in Ripon, CA where customers allegedly attempted to purchase with a stolen and forged check. The caller was able to provide law enforcement with detailed suspect information allowing officers to locate and stop the suspected vehicle, a GMC U-Haul. Upon interaction with the occupants, a search of the vehicle was conducted and officers discovered around 1000 pieces of stolen mail belonging to over 400 victims.
During the jury trial, testimony established that on October 24, 2017 defendants Lom Nguyen and Jeanne Mendoza conspired to commit identity theft. They drove to Elk Grove, CA and stole mail out of the victims' mailboxes. They then went through the mail and pulled out checkbooks and credit / debit cards. They went to multiple stores and tried to use those credit and debit cards to buy different merchandise. They took the checks and gave Kimi Matsuno the names of the victim's on the checks. Kimi Matsuno arranged for someone to make fake temporary DMV licenses, with Jeanne Mendoza's photo and the victims' names and other personal identifying information. On October 25, 2017, Kimi Matsuno joined Jeanne Mendoza and Lom Nguyen as they tried to get gas and other merchandise using the stolen forged checks, access cards and forged driver's licenses. When pulled over by Ripon Police Department on October 25, 2017 their operation was finally uncovered.
Nguyen was found guilty by a jury on the following charges:
If you or someone you know has been the victim of identity crimes, please contact the District Attorney's Office at 209-468-2400. Additionally, the Postal Inspection Service has a hot line that can be reached at 877-876-2455. The San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office strives to seek justice for those who have been the victims of crime. Deputy District Attorney Katherine Mahood prosecuted this case and offers the following suggestions to reduce the likelihood of being a victim of identity theft: