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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 17, 2015

Retired Master Sergeant Sentenced To 24 Months For Stealing Identities Of Military Personnel To Fuel Credit Card Shopping Sprees

Christopher Dwan Underwood, a retired Air Force senior master sergeant, was sentenced today to two years in prison for stealing government credit cards and personal identifying information from more than 30 fellow service members in the San Diego area.

According to documents filed in federal court, Underwood used his Air Force privileges to gain access to gymnasiums on San Diego-area military installations. At these facilities, Underwood would steal credit cards and personal identifying information from his fellow service members’ unattended personal effects (e.g., gym bags, clothing, lockers, etc.).

After obtaining the credit cards and personal information, Underwood would pose as the service members and use this information—including their addresses, birthdates, and Social Security numbers—to activate his victims’ government Citibank charge cards. Once activated, Underwood used the stolen credit cards to make hundreds of unauthorized purchases amounting to tens of thousands of dollars stolen. In his buying sprees, Underwood obtained numerous cash advances and purchased items such as airline tickets and meals at upscale San Diego eateries (i.e., Donovan’s Prime Seafood and Tartine).


DEFENDANT   Case Number: 14cr1859-GPC
Christopher Dwan Underwood Age: 42 San Diego, California
 
CHARGES

18 U.S.C. § 1343 – Wire 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

Updated July 23, 2015