Tennis instructor facing sex charges accused in card scheme

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey youth tennis instructor already facing sex-related charges including kidnapping and sexual assault is now facing charges in what prosecutors allege was a credit card identity theft scheme that led to the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Monmouth County prosecutors said Friday that Terry Kuo was charged with conspiracy, theft, insurance fraud and forgery. Fifteen other people also face charges in what prosecutors allege Kuo called his “plastic army.”

Prosecutors allege that Kuo, 27, who say allege is also known as Victor Lee or Young Sheng Tang, was the “organizer and leader” from 2015 until November 2017 of a scheme to steal identities of individuals to obtain credit cards, then make numerous purchases without payment.

Prosecutors said the scheme involved more than 120 cards and netted more than $400,000 in computers, phones, jewelry, high-end electronics, tennis equipment and other items sold for cash through dozens of e-Bay accounts. Prosecutors said they also invested proceeds in cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, and cited the seizure of more than $200,000 in cryptocurrency — the first one of its kind by a law enforcement agency in the state.

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Kuo was earlier charged with multiple counts of kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault as well as possessing and manufacturing child pornography. He was first indicted a year ago after a 13-year-old student came forward, and prosecutors said further investigation uncovered alleged crimes against other children.

Kuo’s attorney didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment Saturday. He said about the earlier charges that there was “more to this case than meets the eye.”

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