CALIFORNIA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO AGGRAVATED IDENTITY THEFT
Agrees to Four Year Prison Term for Raiding Bank Accounts in Id Theft Scheme
JOHN GIDIMIN KLIMAS, 52, of Fremont, California pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Seattle yesterday to two counts of Aggravated Identity Theft. As part of the plea agreement, both the prosecutors and defense attorneys will recommend the mandatory 2 year sentence for each count when KLIMAS is sentenced on September 29, 2006.
KLIMAS was arrested March 20, 2006 following an investigation by the FBI. According to court records, KLIMAS and a co-defendant used the identities of various California residents to make withdrawals from U.S. Bank branches in the Seattle and Vancouver, Washington areas. The withdrawals ranged from $2,500 to $26,000. In all $125,906 was illegally taken from bank accounts.
KLIMAS was linked to the thefts via surveillance photos and fingerprints lifted from one of the illegally obtained checks.
The Aggravated Identity Theft Statute, enacted by Congress in 2004, mandates a term of 24 months imprisonment to run consecutive to any term of imprisonment on an underlying charge. In this case the two year sentence for each count of Aggravated Identity Theft will run consecutively for a total of 4 years in prison and two years of supervised release. Prosecutors also agreed to recommend a drug treatment program for KLIMAS while incarcerated.
The United States Attorney’s Office had designated a special working group on Identity Theft to evaluate and prosecute those cases where use of federal resources is appropriate. This case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lawrence Lincoln.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.