Man pleads guilty in scheme that took millions from military members

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego man has pleaded guilty to his role in a scheme that took millions of dollars from U.S. servicemembers by utilizing stolen identity information, the Department of Justice said Friday.

Trorice Crawford, 32, entered his plea Thursday to one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and faces up to 20 years in federal prison for his part in facilitating the thefts of funds from thousands of military members’ bank accounts. Crawford’s sentencing is slated for March 5 in a Texas courtroom.

The scheme began when co-defendant Frederick Brown, 38, of Las Vegas, was working as a civilian medical records administrator at a U.S. Army installation in South Korea.

Prosecutors say that while logged into an Armed Forces database providing the names, social security numbers, DOD ID numbers, dates of birth and contact information of thousands of military members, Brown took pictures of the information on his cell phone and gave that information to his co- defendants.

Crawford’s role involved recruiting at least 30 people who allowed the defendants to funnel the stolen funds into their bank accounts, according to the Department of Justice. He also oversaw transfers of the money to co- defendants overseas.

For his part, Crawford took a percentage of the stolen funds. The DOJ said the defendants took between $8,000 to $13,000 from each victim.

Brown has also pleaded guilty, while three other defendants are in custody in the Philippines and are awaiting extradition to the United States on charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

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