California man arrested on multiple felony charges for embezzlement, identity theft, fake credit card lab

Washoe County Sheriff’s Office detectives have arrested John Michael Lain, 39, for embezzlement and possession of fraudulent credit cards as well as having a number of items used to manufacture fraudulent credit cards assembled in his hotel room.

John Michael Lain

Lain’s arrest is the culmination of a seven-month long crime spree spanning Susanville, Washoe County, Reno, Sparks, and Truckee, California.

Lain is charged with 11 felony counts including: obtaining and using personal identifying information of another, obtaining or possessing credit or debit card without consent of the cardholder, possessing a financial forgery laboratory, and drug trafficking.

Washoe County Sheriff’s Office detectives first began investigating the embezzlement of four electric mountain bikes from a local outdoor equipment store in Galena in July of 2020, wherein the bikes were “rented” and never returned. Three weeks after that case was taken, in early August, a Washoe County resident reported her credit card was used fraudulently at a large sporting goods retailer in Sparks; however, the victim still had possession of her credit card. That sporting goods store’s loss prevention department provided information that over the course of two months store employees tracked nine internal reports tied to this fraudulent credit card activity.

Ten days after the Sparks purchase, two electric mountain bikes were embezzled from a sporting goods store in Truckee. The name associated with that “rental” was the name of a victim whose wallet was stolen in Susanville in February.

Working in conjunction with Truckee Police Department detectives, Lain was identified as a suspect. It was discovered that he was known to stay at a casino/resort in the 3800 block of South Virginia Street. Washoe County Sheriff’s Office deputies and detectives located Lain in the hotel and took him into custody.

Hotel security followed protocol and began the eviction process of Lain’s hotel room. When hotel security entered the room, they found evidence of illegal activity and notified detectives who were already on the premises. Detectives seized 47 items which were consistent with drug trafficking and a financial forgery lab, including:

  • mechanical embosser;
  • magnetic card reader/encoder;
  • 16 fraudulent credit cards;
  • bike tube and repair kit; and
  • drug paraphernalia.