A Chula Vista man pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday to stealing the identities of at least 37 individuals to commit over $240,000 in bank and loan fraud.
Keven Lee, 41, used his position as Top Secret, Sensitive Compartmentalized Information (TS-SCI) clearance at the Defense Contract Management Agency (“DCMA”), to commit identity theft and fraud. The DCMA is a federal agency responsible for administering contracts for the Department of Defense and other authorized federal agencies.
According to Assistant U. S. Attorney Michelle L. Wasserman, 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 personal debts and bills.
Cumulatively, Lee stole and used or attempted to use the identities of 37 actual individuals at 16 different financial institutions. The crimes in approximately September 2018 and continued through September 2020, and the total amount of Lee’s actual and attempted fraud was $244,513.45.
According to his plea agreement, Lee initially used the identities of family members to apply for and obtain fraudulent loans. In approximately September 2019, Lee began applying for loans and bank accounts using information he had access to through his employment with DCMA.
A Sharepoint site called DCMA 360 was used in attaining personal identifying information belonging to various individuals employed by, or in some way in contact with, DCMA, including Department of Defense employees and contractors. According to the plea agreement, Lee accessed social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and various forms relating to government employment.
After collecting sufficient personal identifying information on an individual, Lee used that information to apply for bank accounts and loans online by creating fraudulent identification documents using the stolen information, including driver’s licenses and passports.
Additionally, Lee created doctored financial documents such as pay stubs, bank statements, and tax documents to support loan applications. A statement by the U.S Attorney's Office states that Lee fraudulently increased the salary reflected on some of the documents to qualify for more money.
Fake email accounts for some of the stolen identities and various Google voice numbers were used to accomplish his fraud.
The U.S. Attorney's office reports that between March 26-March 30, 2020, Lee then used the personal information of D.B.’s, a DCMA employee to open fraudulently apply for at least eight bank accounts and loans. He additionally created a fake Arizona Driver’s License using D.B.’s name address, and birthdate, which he submitted with the fraudulent loan applications. Lee successfully obtained three loans in D.B.’s name and used the funds for personal expenses.
“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 violated that public trust for his own selfish ends. Those who engage in fraud and identity theft will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” Grossman thanked the prosecution team as well as Defense Criminal Investigative Service and
Lee is next scheduled to appear at a sentencing hearing on April 22, 2022, at 9:30 a.m. before Judge Lopez.