HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Police say they arrested a Chinese national Wednesday with thousands of dollars in gift cards he's suspected of using to launder money.
Huntsville Police said they arrested Longjin Lin Wednesday at a Huntsville Walmart.
Lin's photo had been circulated among stores on suspicion that he may be laundering money, police said, and Walmart loss prevention officers saw him at a self-checkout and called police.
Investigators caught up with Lin and found $38,000 in gift cards in his car, police said. About $16,000 of those cards had not been spent yet, police said.
Investigators were able to trace some of the money back to a victim in Colorado, police said. Lin allegedly gained the woman's trust and got access to her account, moved money from her savings account into another family member's account and claimed to the victim he had moved too much money. Lin then convinced her to give him the money back in gift cards so he wouldn't lose his job. The woman didn't check her bank balance, so she didn't know Lin had given her her own money, police said.
Lin, who was living in New York on a work permit, is also believed to have gone all the way down the East Coast, police said.
The gift cards in Lin's vehicle were given to the Secret Service so they could try and return money to the victims.
Police say Lin was wanted by the Secret Service for financial crimes across several jurisdictions.