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August 1, 2014

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Federal judge sentences man who stole from Marines in Iraq

A 24-year-old El Paso, Texas man who pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy, wire fraud and identity theft charges for stealing from the bank accounts of U.S. Marines stationed in Iraq was sentenced today to 18 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Philip M. Pro.

In addition, Edgar Hermosillo will spend five years on supervised release after his prison term and has been ordered to pay about $40,000 in restitution, said Gregory A. Brower, U.S. Attorney for Nevada.

"To underscore Judge Pro's comments at sentencing today, the defendant betrayed his fellow Marines and the values of the Marine Corps when he committed these crimes," Brower said.

From 2001 to 2005 Hermosillo was enlisted in the Marine Corps. Before his discharge in May 2005, Hermosillo had access to federal government computers in Camp Pendleton, Calif. He was accused of unlawfully taking bank account numbers and personal identifying information for 15 enlisted men also in the Marine Corps.

All of the victims' bank accounts were located at the Pacific Marine Credit Union, a federal insured institution with branches at Camp Pendleton and elsewhere.

After Hermosillo was discharged from the Marines, he tapped into the Marines' bank accounts over the Internet and transferred funds from their accounts to his bank account and bank accounts of his family members.

Impersonating several account holders, Hermosillo also made or had others make telephone calls to PMCU employees, directing them to wire money from victims' accounts to Western Unions in Nevada, Texas and New Mexico.

Hermosillo also made several false U.S. Government identification cards with his photograph and the names of victim account holders, then presented them to Western Unions in the above three states to collect money from the Marines' accounts.

The investigation revealed that the conspiracy involved about 26 bank accounts and that $39,094 was taken by Hermosillo.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Navy Criminal Investigation Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ray Gattinella.

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