$70M Target scam suspect arrested in Texas

Guo Xing Chen, 40, was originally arrested for using a fraudulent credit card, but is now linked to the $70M Target credit breach.

eorgetown, Texas, police said that a man arrested last December after allegedly using a fraudulent credit card at a Georgetown Target is involved in a large scale credit breach with the retailer that's believed to be in excess of $70M.

According to the arrest affidavits, Guo Xing Chen, 40, is charged with fraudulent use or possession of identifying information, a second degree felony, and credit or debit card abuse, a state jail felony.

According to investigators, on the afternoon of Dec. 12, officers responded to a call at the Target store located at 1021 W. University Ave. after Chen tried to purchase several gift cards with a fraudulent credit card.

Court documents say Chen had used several stolen credit/debit cards the previous day at a Target store in Temple, Texas, to purchase several thousand dollars of gift cards and Apple iPads -- and a BOLO (be on the lookout) had been issued for Central Texas Target stores warning of the activity.

After Chen's purchase at the Georgetown store was processed an employee tried to check the information from the transaction -- that's when they noticed the card was fraudulent.

After briefly talking to an associate at a Round Rock Target store, who said they had been victimized in a similar way earlier that day, he went to the parking lot and tracked down Chen's vehicle, police say.

The Target employee called police who then quickly found Chen at a nearby Starbucks, detained him and an associate and discovered Chen had an outstanding felony warrant out of Arkansas for credit/debit card abuse, according to the affidavit.

As this was happening an employee at a nearby Firehouse Subs approached the officers and said Chen and another man had gone into the bathroom together, after they left the employee entered the bathroom to see if anything had been damaged because they were acting suspiciously -- that's when he found several debit/credit cards left by the two men, according to court documents. Chen was then arrested for the outstanding warrant and fraudulent use of identifying information.

However, during the course of the investigation officers came to believe Chen was involved in something bigger -- a $70 million large scale data breach, according to investigators from the Target Corporation, court documents say. The new charges are the result of information developed during the investigation, police say. But more charges are expected to be filed at a later date.