NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A New York man pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring to illegally get money through bank fraud and identity theft.
U. S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen accepted the plea from 36-year-old Jeffrey Washington, according to Margaret Jahn with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
In May, Washington was indicted with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, ten counts of bank fraud, seven counts of aggravated identity theft, and two counts of interstate transportation of property converted or taken by fraud.
Court documents state Washington lead a group that, during a two-year period, stole identity and financial information from 12 different Wells Fargo Mortgage offices in the Northeast U.S.
“They impersonated various bank customers, using counterfeit identifications created from the stolen personal information, and opened business accounts in fake business names in order to drain legitimate customer accounts at various banks of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Jahn said.
In August of last year, one of the conspirators was arrested while impersonating a bank customer at a Wells Fargo bank in Ashland, Va. He was charged and sentenced in April, but Washington continued with the scheme.
So far, two other people have been charged in the scheme.
When he is sentenced on December 5 in Norfolk, Washington faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison on the bank fraud charge and a $1,000,000 fine, and a maximum penalty of a mandatory two years in prison on the aggravated identity theft charge and a fine of $250,000.