Surrey/North Delta Leader

Alleged Surrey fraudster arrested in U.S.

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A Surrey man has been arrested and charged in the U.S. for allegedly being a member of the "coffee shop gang" accused of bilking B.C. Starbucks customers and others of more than $200,000.

Dennis Nguyen was arrested in mid-February outside a store in Washington State and is charged with possession of bank card-making equipment.

According to Seattle district court documents, debit and credit cards were skimmed by the alleged fraudsters at several Vancouver Starbucks locations, as well as the Dirty Apron café.

Clone cards were then made and the victims' money was withdrawn in the U.S., say police. It's estimated $209,210 was stolen and the gang tried unsuccessfully to withdraw another $385,000. Police expect to make more arrests and identify additional victims in the scam.

The U.S. probe reportedly began in December 2012 when and investigator at Boeing Employees Credit Union noticed a group of people trying to make suspicious withdrawals from multiple ATM machines in Seattle. According to court documents, he discovered the group had made regular trips to withdraw cash: twice in both December and January, and again on Feb. 2.

- with files from CTV

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