A man accused of entering the country illegally faces more than 300 felony charges related to a gift card counterfeiting scheme in a small eastern Ohio county. State Attorney General Dave Yost said Ming Xue, 32, of Hunan, Fujian, China, faces 308 counts of counterfeiting and one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.
Xue is expected to be arraigned Tuesday in Coshocton County Common Pleas Court.
In late 2020, the Informer reported that an illegal alien had been arrested after a major gift card theft in West Union. At the time, the West Union Police Department arrested Zhanhua Liu after he stole $750.00 in blank gift cards. Police were alerted by management at the Maysville Wal-Mart where he had already stolen multiple gift cards.
Earlier this month, a local resident purchased a Visa gift card at West Union Wal-Mart and uploaded it with hundreds of dollars. Within hours, the card had been wiped clean with pennies remaining on the card. This scam is known as “gift card draining”. Card draining occurs when a thief tampers with a gift card and “drains” the money before the consumer uses the funds. They steal the card from the store, scratch the bar code, obtain the numbers, and then put a sticker on it making it appear unaltered. To protect yourself, consumer watchdogs say it’s important to ensure that gift cards come with a protective seal and that tape covers the PIN to prevent this gift card draining scam.