A San Diego man previously convicted of similar crimes pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to running a conspiracy involving identity theft and creation of phony credit cards used to rack up tens of thousands of dollars worth of fraudulent purchases charged to unwitting victims’ accounts.
According to an indictment handed down by a grand jury in November, Daniel Stephen Wray, 29, recruited co-conspirators in late 2016 to help him run his criminal scheme. Investigators believe many of his victims’ identities and financial data were stolen via a card scanner surreptitiously installed by Wray and his co-conspirators at a La Jolla gas station.
Wray and his confederates used the fraudulent credit cards to buy an array of merchandise, ranging from Apple iPads, luxury wristwatches, gold and silver, and large quantities of liquor and energy drinks, according to prosecutors.
As part of his plea deal , Wray also admitted to being convicted in 2014 of illegally possessing 269 counterfeit credit-access devices.
“Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the United States,” U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman said. “We will vigorously prosecute those who prey on our citizens and steal their identities.”
Wray is scheduled to be sentenced May 7.
–City News Service
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