ALBANY, Ga. (WRIC) — A Caroline County man and one of his co-conspirators pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud charges, following an investigation into Walmart gift card schemes involving hundreds of fraud victims across the country.

According to a release from the United States Secret Service, Yao Lin, 51 of Ruther Glen, Virginia, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia on Sept. 29. Lin faces a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release and a $1 million fine.

Lin and his co-conspirator Wen Lin, 39, of Philadephia, reportedly traveled to Walmart stores across the country on multiple occasions to collect illegally obtained gift cards. According to the Secret Service, the gift cards were purchased by over 370 victims in different scams throughout the county.

According to court documents, Lin was connected to 1,649 different transactions using 1,271 different Walmart gift cards totaling $533,341.75 between Feb. 19, 2021, and March 29, 2021. The gift cards were reportedly purchased by over 370 different victims.

One of many examples of fraud detailed in Lin’s indictment was of a victim in Missouri who was duped into sending $5,000 to a nonexistent Florida woman on a dating site. That money was then electronically sent, in the form of a Walmart gift card, to Lin, who, less than one hour later, used the gift card to purchase more gift cards at a Walmart in Georgia.

According to the Secret Service, Lin admitted to participating with unnamed co-conspirators in this scheme and receiving 3% of the total funds converted from Walmart gift cards as payment for his criminal efforts. Lin claimed he did not know the electronic gift cards had been obtained by defrauding people.

Lin was taken into custody in Valdosta, Georgia, on March 29, 2021, when a search of his vehicle yielded 128 Google Play, Steam and Apple gift cards, valued at approximately $9,300.

“Undoubtedly, the work of the United States Secret Service and our local partners prevented many more Americans from being victims in these vast gift card schemes,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Fraudsters, both here and abroad, are relentless in their efforts to scam unsuspecting people. I hope this case reminds all of us to be alert to the growing number of financial scams out there, and [to] report incidences of fraud to the authorities. Local police reports filed by victims assisted in this case.”

Lin is scheduled to be sentenced within 90 days as determined by the court.