You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Washington

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 22, 2019

Disbarred Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft for Scheme to Steal from Friend and Family

Used Identities of Friend and Family Members to Obtain Credit Cards and Access to Bank Accounts

          A disbarred Seattle attorney pleaded guilty today to aggravated identity theft and wire fraud for his scheme to steal the identities of a romantic partner and his relatives and using that personal information for fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran.  JOHN WILLIAM ALDERSON, 47, had a previous conviction in 2003 for wire fraud and Social Security fraud which resulted in a 41-month prison sentence and his disbarment.  In 2014, ALDERSON met and began a romantic relationship with the victim and stole the victim’s identity to open multiple credit card accounts and incurred more than $260,000 in debt.  All the while ALDERSON lied about his age, claimed to be independently wealthy, and concealed his prior criminal conviction and disbarment.  Prosecutors have agreed to recommend no more than 54 months in prison when ALDERSON is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones on November 1, 2019.

            According to the plea agreement, ALDERSON moved into his victim’s home in 2015 and gained access to the victim’s personally identifying information.  Using that information ALDERSON opened the credit card accounts and pretended to be the victim to dispute charges on the credit cards.  One of the charges incurred on the cards was for ALDERSON to have plastic surgery at a Bellevue clinic.  Those charges traveled interstate, constituting wire fraud.  ALDERSON induced the victim to write him checks that were to be deposited in a joint investment account but instead were used by ALDERSON for his own expenses.  ALDERSON forged letters and emails from various attorneys representing that ALDERSON was to receive a large financial settlement.  Those representations were false.  ALDERSON also used the identity of relatives living in Enumclaw to open an additional credit card account resulting in more than $38,000 in fraud.  ALDERSON admits to a total fraud loss of more than $262,712.

            The case was investigated by the FBI.

            The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Dion.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Contact: 
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.
Updated July 22, 2019