Woman Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud Conspiracy and ID Theft
*UPDATE on June 21, 2018: The following statement provides additional clarity to this press release (originally issued on June 18, 2018) and includes a revised headline. Please attribute the statement to Joshua Stueve, Director of Communications for EDVA. "As stated in the Statement of Facts for defendants Cross and McKnight, numerous victims of the LFCU identity theft fraud also identified themselves to DOJ as victims of the OPM Data Breach. The Government continues to investigate the ultimate source of the PII used by the defendants and how this PII was obtained.”
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Maryland woman pleaded guilty today to participating in a scheme to use the stolen identification information of victims of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) data breach to obtain fraudulent personal and vehicle loans through Langley Federal Credit Union (LFCU).
According to court documents, Kariva Cross, 39, of Bowie, participated in and recruited others to engage in a fraudulent identity-theft scheme targeting LFCU. In 2015 and 2016, LFCU received numerous online membership and consumer loan applications in the names of stolen identities that were victims of the OPM data breach. LFCU approved and issued the requested memberships and loans prior to determining that they had been sought using the stolen personal identifying information of others. LFCU disbursed loan proceeds via checks and transfers into the checking and savings accounts opened through these fraudulent applications. Vehicle loan proceeds were disbursed by checks made payable to individuals posing as vehicle sellers, while personal loan proceeds were disbursed to LFCU accounts opened in connection with the fraudulent loan applications and transferred to accounts of others. Cross and others then accessed and withdrew the fraudulently obtained loan proceeds.
Cross pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. She faces a maximum penalty of 30 years and a consecutive mandatory minimum of two years in prison when sentenced on October 26. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Co-defendant Marlon McKnight pleaded guilty to the same charges on June 11.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Eric Shen, Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and Michael C. Grinstead, Acting Chief of Newport News Police, made the announcement after U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert J. Krask accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian J. Samuels is prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:17-cr-118.