Former government worker admits stealing identities of 37 people in bank and loan fraud scheme | USAO-SDCA
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle L. Wasserman (619) 546-8431
SUMMARY OF PRESS RELEASE – January 26, 2022
SAN DIEGO – Kevin Lee of Chula Vista pleaded guilty in federal court today to using his position at the Defense Contract Management Agency (“DCMA”) to steal the identities of at least 37 people and using those identities to commit over $240,000 in bank and loan fraud.
The DCMA is a federal agency responsible for administering contracts for the Department of Defense and other authorized federal agencies. For his former position at the DCMA, Lee held a Top Secret, Sensitive Compartmentalized Information (TS-SCI) clearance. Beginning around September 2018 and continuing through September 2020 inclusive, Lee devised a scheme to defraud various banks and loan companies using stolen identities to apply for and obtain loans, which he then used to pay off debts and personal bills.
According to his plea agreement, Lee initially used the identities of his family members to apply for and obtain fraudulent loans. Around September 2019, Lee began applying for loans and bank accounts using information he had access to through his employment at DCMA. Specifically, Lee accessed a DCMA Sharepoint site called DCMA 360 which contained personally identifying information pertaining to various individuals employed by, or otherwise in contact with, DCMA, including employees and Ministry of Defense contractors.
The plea agreement stated the following:
The information Lee was given access to included social security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, and various forms relating to government employment. After collecting enough personally identifying information about an individual, Lee used that information to apply for bank accounts and loans online. To do this, Lee created fraudulent identification documents using the stolen information, including driver’s licenses and passports. Lee also created and/or falsified pay stubs, bank statements, and tax documents to support his loan applications. In order to qualify for more loan money, Lee fraudulently increased the salary shown on some of the documents. Lee created fake email accounts for some of the stolen identities and used various Google voice phone numbers to accomplish his fraud.
For example, Lee created a fake Gmail account for a DCMA employee, DB Two months later, on March 26, 2020, Lee conducted six separate searches for personal identifying information belonging to DB on the DCMA 360 site. on March 26 and March 30, 2020, Lee then used DB’s name, date of birth, address, and social security number to fraudulently apply for at least eight bank accounts and loans using DB’s identity. Lee created a fake Arizona driver’s license using DB’s name, address and date of birth, which he submitted with the fraudulent loan applications. Lee successfully secured three loans in DB’s name and used the funds for personal expenses. In total, Lee stole and used or attempted to use the identities of 37 real people at 16 different financial institutions. The total amount of Lee’s actual fraud and attempted fraud was $244,513.45.
“Government employees hold positions of public trust,” said U.S. Attorney Randy S. Grossman. “The identity theft and fraud in this case is particularly egregious because Mr. Lee breached the public trust for his own selfish ends. Those who commit fraud and identity theft will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Grossman thanked the prosecution team as well as the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and
Defense Contract Management Agency-Office of the Inspector General for their excellent work on this matter.
“The theft of personally identifiable information can cause significant harm to our military, civilian employees, and their families,” said Kenneth A. DeChellis, Special Agent in Charge, DoD Office of Inspector General, DCIS – Cyber Field Office. “This conviction, resulting from the coordinated actions of the Department of Defense’s Office of Inspector General, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, cyber and Western field offices, as well as our partner agencies, demonstrates our commitment to Act quickly against those who attempt to enrich themselves at the expense of our current and former Department of Defense personnel.
Lee is next scheduled to appear for a sentencing hearing on April 22, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. before Judge Lopez.
FEES SUMMARY Case number 22CR147-LL
Kevin Lee Age: 41 Chula Vista, California
Wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, USC 1343
Maximum penalty: twenty years in prison
Aggravated Identity Theft, Violating Title 18 USC 1028A
Maximum Penalty: Mandatory two years consecutive to any other prison sentence imposed.
Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS)
Defense Contract Management Agency – Office of Inspector General (DCMA-OIG)