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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


APRIL 17, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


KC FIREFIGHTER PLEADS GUILTY TO IDENTITY THEFT,

CREDIT CARD FRAUD


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a firefighter with the Kansas City, Mo., Fire Department pleaded guilty in federal court today to identity theft and credit card fraud.


            Mark M. Braden, 38, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs this morning to the charges contained in a Dec. 5, 2007, federal indictment.


            Braden admitted that he unlawfully used the name and Social Security number of another person on Feb. 28, 2007, in order to commit credit card fraud. Braden also admitted that he used an American Express card issued in that victim’s name to receive items valued at $1,000 or more between Feb. 28 and April 15, 2007.


            By pleading guilty today, Braden also agreed to forfeit to the government a desktop computer that was used to commit the offenses.


            Under federal statutes, Braden could be subject to a sentence of up to 30 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $500,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Cowles. It was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the Johnson County, Kan., Sheriff’s Department as part of the U.S. Secret Service Financial Crimes Task Force.



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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html