(Reuters) - A Vietnamese man was charged in a scheme to sell the banking details of hundreds of thousands of U.S. residents over the Internet, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Prosecutors say Hieu Minh Ngo, 24, was part of a group of conspirators involved in trading the personal information, including bank account and credit card details, of more than 500,000 people, according to a statement from the department Friday.
Ngo, who was arrested after entering the United States in February, was involved in selling the information to others via online forums between 2007 and 2012, the announcement said. The fresher the information, the higher the price, it said.
The bundles of information might include a person's name, date of birth, social security number, bank account number and bank routing number, as well as credit or debit card information.
A copy of the indictment, which was unsealed in New Hampshire on Friday, was not immediately available. An attorney for Ngo could not immediately be reached for comment.
The announcement did not say how investigators believe the group acquired the information.
Ngo has been charged with 15 counts of wire fraud and identity fraud, among other crimes, following an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service. The most serious charges carry maximum penalties of 20 years in prison.
(Reporting By Jonathan Allen; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Gunna Dickson)