You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 30, 2014

Retired Air Force Service Member Indicted For Stealing And Using Credit Cards Of Fellow Service Members

SAN DIEGO – A retired Air Force senior master sergeant is charged in an indictment unsealed today with stealing credit cards from fellow service members on numerous San Diego area military installations, often while they exercised at base gymnasiums, and using the cards to make unauthorized purchases and obtain thousands of dollars in cash advances.

Christopher Dwan Underwood, 42, was indicted by a federal grand jury and arrested Friday. He made his first appearance in federal court this morning to face charges of wire fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. A bond hearing was set for July 3, 2014 at 10 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel.

According to the indictment, Underwood had access to military installations because of his retiree status. He preyed on victims who left their personal belongings unattended during gym workouts on bases, and on more than 30 occasions he swiped military-issued credit and debit cards and victims’ personal information, such as dates of birth and social security numbers.

Government Travel Charge Cards, known as GTCCs, are authorized for use only when a cardholder is authorized to go on official military travel. Posing as the cardholders and using their personal information, Underwood called Citibank, the card issuer, to activate the cards. Once the cards were activated, he made over $20,000 in unauthorized purchases and cash advances, the indictment said.

DEFENDANT    

Christopher Dwan Underwood

Age: 42 San Diego, CA
     
CHARGES

18 U.S.C. § 1343 – Wire Fraud (30 years maximum sentence)
18 U.S.C. § 1344 – Bank Fraud (30 years maximum sentence)
18 U.S.C. § 1028A – Aggravated Identity Theft (mandatory-minimum two-year sentence)

 
INVESTIGATING AGENCIES

Naval Criminal Investigative Service
Marine Corps Criminal Investigation Division
Navy Criminal Investigation Division

*Indictments and complaints are not evidence that the defendant committed the crime charged.  All defendants are presumed innocent until the United States meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.     

Updated July 23, 2015