FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 17, 2013
For Information Contact:
Former Waiter Sentenced to 38-Month Prison Term,
Used Stolen Credit Card Information to Buy Artwork and Jewelry
-Defendant Also Carried Out Separate Check-Kiting Scheme-
WASHINGTON - Kevin T. Washington, 48, of Gaithersburg, Md., was sentenced today to a 38-month prison term and ordered to pay restitution of approximately $39,000 to various businesses and banks that were defrauded in a pair of schemes, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr., Cathy L. Lanier of the Metropolitan Police Department and Kathy A. Michalko, Special Agent In Charge of the Washington Field Office of the U.S. Secret Service.
Washington pled guilty in August 2013 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to felony credit card fraud, first-degree felony fraud, and misdemeanor credit card fraud. He was sentenced by the Honorable Robert I. Richter.
According to the plea agreement, in September and October of 2012, Washington obtained the credit card numbers of four different victims while working as a waiter at a restaurant in Georgetown. One victim had treated his niece, who had been attending college in the area, to a meal at the restaurant. Shortly thereafter, he discovered thousands of dollars in fraudulent charges from an art gallery. That victim’s card was used to purchase artwork totaling approximately $46,000 from a Georgetown art gallery, including two Pablo Picasso etchings, as well as Henri Matisse and Damien Hirst etchings.
Members of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit enlisted assistance from the Fairfax County, Va. Police Department and together they were able to recover the artwork from a store in Fairfax County where Washington had pawned them. That store suffered roughly $3,000 in losses.
During this same time period, September through October 2012, Washington used the credit card number of another victim who had dined at the restaurant to purchase diamond stud earrings, a wedding band, a diamond cross and a 16-inch gold chain from a jewelry store in Northwest Washington. He also used another victim’s credit card number for storage services and the fourth victim’s credit card number for car repair services. All told, the purchases on these three victims’ cards totaled about $11,300.
Finally, beginning in March 2012 and continuing through February 2013, Washington fraudulently obtained approximately $24,000 in cash in a check-kiting scheme. The investigation showed that Washington opened accounts at six different banks and subsequently deposited bad checks with the intent of artificially inflating his account balances. Washington would then withdraw large sums of money, knowing that the checks would be returned due to insufficient funds or for having been written on closed accounts.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen, Chief Lanier and Special Agent in Charge Michalko praised the investigative work of the MPD detective assigned to the Financial Crimes and Fraud Unit and the Special Agent assigned to the Secret Service‘s Washington Field Office. They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the Fairfax County Police Department. Finally, they commended the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie G. Miller, who prosecuted the case.