KENT MAN SENTENCED TO FOUR YEARS IN PRISON FOR BANK FRAUD AND WEAPONS CHARGES
Defendant and Cohorts Cloned Credit Cards used at Car Wash, Fast Food Chain
ANDREW KYLE WHITTECAR, 24, of Kent, Washington, was sentenced yesterday in U. S. District Court in Seattle to four years in prison and five years of supervised release for Bank Fraud, Conspiracy to Transport Firearms and Transportation of an Unregistered Firearm. WHITTECAR was arrested October 2, 2008, following two separate investigations. According to records filed in the case, WHITTECAR began dealing weapons, after he was aware he was under investigation for bank fraud. U.S. District Judge James L. Robart imposed the sentence.
According to records filed in the case, WHITTECAR organized and led a scheme to skim bank-issued credit and debit cards from unwitting citizens who presented their cards for transactions at a fast-food restaurant and a car wash on the Eastside. WHITTECAR recruited workers at the car wash and a fast-food restaurant to make “clones” of the cards. The fraudulent credit and debit cards were then used to run up some $150,000 in charges for merchandise that could be sold for cash. In December of 2006, WHITTECAR was caught in Puyallup, Washington trying to purchase computers with a fraudulent debit card. He had some 18 fraudulent debit and credit cards on him at the time of his arrest.
While investigators were building the bank fraud case by obtaining records and analyzing computer records, WHITTECAR engaged in a second unrelated crime: trafficking in weapons. On three different occasions in February and April 2008, WHITTECAR used Federal Express to ship an AR-15 style rifle, two semiautomatic firearms, seven semi-automatic handguns, and two sets of body armor to California. WHITTECAR was paid several thousand dollars for the shipment. WHITTECAR set up sales of additional firearms with an undercover officer. WHITTECAR set up a deal to sell six firearms and two rifles for $27,500. One of the firearms that WHITTECAR shipped to California is illegal to possess because of a high-capacity drum magazine and an attached vertical fore-grip.
WHITTECAR pleaded guilty on April 3, 2009.
The cases were investigated by the King County Sheriff’s Office, the Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.
The cases were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Vince Lombardi and Jill Otake.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.