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By Christopher Bennett

RACINE, WI – A case of fraud more than a year old resulted in charges by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office Feb. 13 for an individual accused of Felony Theft.

Charges against Xinfeng Zhu, 25 of Troy, Mich., were filed Feb. 13 in Racine County Circuit Court. Zhu made an initial court appearance on Feb. 13 and was released on bond. Zhu’s next court appearance is March 4.

Zhu and an associate – Qingyu Wei – executed a scam in which they contacted a victim who lived on Dunkelow Road in Caledonia in March of 2018. Zhu told the victim his grandson was arrested on drug charges and being held on a $4,000 bond. Another individual claiming to be the victim’s grandson confirmed the claim. Zhu claimed his name was David Wiseman, and that he served as a warrant officer.

Wei made an initial appearance in court on Jan. 6 and is free on bond. His next court date is April 1.

Zhu instructed the victim to purchase four gift cards from Target, each being worth $1,000. Zhu then instructed the victim to call him back and offer the access code for each card, which the victim did.

The grandson of the victim told the Caledonia Police Department he did not ever ask his grandfather for $4,000.

The Caledonia Police Department learned Zhu and Wei used the gift cards at Targets in North Carolina and Ohio. The department also learned Zhu and Wei executed similar incidents in New York and Michigan in which they told the victim a loved one was in jail and needed bail in the form of Target gift cards.

The criminal complaint was originally filed on August 2, 2018. According to jail records neither is in custody in Racine County. The delay in the filing of charges and the date of the criminal complaint is unclear.

If apprehended and convicted Zhu a fine of $10,000 and up to three years and six months in prison.

Wei is set to be in court on a preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. April 1 at the Racine County Law Enforcement Center.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.