Jury finds Brooklyn man guilty of stealing identities of 17 people


 A Hennepin County District Court jury found a Brooklyn, NY man guilty of stealing the identities of 17 people, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.

Junshi Zhang, 28, was found guilty of one count of identity theft on Friday. Jurors deliberated for less than two hours before returning the verdict. Zhang will be sentenced on Dec. 20 and is expected to receive 48 months in prison.

His accomplice, Kesheng He, 40, of Orlando, FL pleaded guilty and was sentenced on Friday to a five-year stay of imposition, 180 days in the workhouse and ordered to pay $17,000 in restitution with Zhang

According to the criminal complaint and testimony in court, on Jan. 20, 2016, officers responded to a call from a jewelry store at the Mall of America. An employee reported that an Asian woman and an Asian man, later identified as He, had entered the store and requested to see a Rolex watch for a “friend in Hong Kong.” The woman looked at the watch, valued at $5,000, for less than a minute and said she wanted to buy it.

She provided a credit card and a Connecticut ID that did not have a hologram on it. The clerk told the woman and He that she was going to have to call the credit card company to verify the authenticity of the card. The woman asked for the ID and the credit card back and the couple left the store, according to the complaint.

Clerks provided officers with a description of the two suspects as well as still shots of them from video surveillance. Another officer saw a car about to leave the mall with the couple inside and detained them. A line up was conducted and both jewelry store employees independently identified He as the man who was with the woman in the store attempting to purchase the Rolex. Zhang, who was driving the car, was also detained.

When He was removed from the rear passenger seat, officers found several cut up credit cards and when they were able to piece them together, they determined that the names did not match either He or Zhang. There were at least nine credit cards cut up on the floor.

Officers also recovered a wallet from the door where He was seated. It contained seven additional credit cards. They also found a receipt from Nordstrom’s totaling $2,790, three credit cards for Abercrombie and Fitch, gift cards, and merchandise from a number of other stores, valued at more than $65,000.