Retired military sergeant charged with credit card fraud

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SAN DIEGO — A retired Air Force senior master sergeant was charged day with stealing credit cards from fellow service members at numerous San Diego-area military installations, often while they worked out, then using the stolen cards to make unauthorized purchases and get thousands of dollars in cash.

indictmentChristopher Dwan Underwood, 42, was arrested Friday and made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court Monday on charges of wire fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. A bond hearing was set for Thursday.

According to an indictment unsealed Monday, Underwood had access to military installations because of his retiree status.

He preyed on victims who left their belongings unattended during workouts on bases and, on more than 30 occasions, he stole military-issued credit and debit cards and personal information, such as dates of birth and Social Security numbers, according to the indictment.

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