NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — The ringleaders of a credit card fraud scheme that made almost $180,000 in fraudulent purchases at stores in multiple states have been sentenced to prison.

The U.S. attorney for Connecticut says the group’s leader, 31-year-old Mei Bao Lu, was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months behind bars. His second-in-command, 31-year-old Yang-Shi Lin was sentenced to a year in prison. Both men are from New York City.

Prosecutors say they distributed 120 counterfeit credit cards made with stolen information to other members of their group, which were used to make fraudulent purchases in Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

The investigation started in Connecticut in February 2015 when several people who had dined at the same restaurant told police their cards had been used for unauthorized purchases.

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Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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