One of the ringleaders of a high-tech national pickpocket and identity theft gang that kept police around the country on their toes for at least two years pleaded guilty on Wednesday.
Clyde Austin Gray, Jr., 52, of Waldorf, Maryland, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud in a scheme that resulted in losses of at least $2.1 million from 10 financial institutions. Nine other co-conspirators have been charged to date.
Gray, who also went by the names “Big Head” and “Poochie,” paid co-conspirators to help him steal the identities and bank-account information from victims around the country through pickpocketing and other means, including stealing checks from a Washington, D.C., charity-fundraising group and paying an employee at a D.C. medical office to steal the bank account information of patients. Some members of the ring allegedly traveled around the country to sporting events, such as the Final Four basketball games in Detroit in April, to pickpocket fans. The gang then used the information to cash checks through the victims’ bank accounts in several states.
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