A 41-year-old man is accused of cleaning out a North Kitsap resident’s investment account of $60,000 through an identity theft scheme that may have included requesting a replacement driver’s license and then stealing it from the resident’s mailbox.
Brandon Michael Wigington is currently in custody in Arizona after he was accused in March of using stolen credit cards to bail one woman out of jail and trying to bail out another.
Investigators there allege the stolen cards were obtained on the “dark web,” reaches of the internet where users can remain anonymous and untraceable.
When police in Camp Verde – between Phoenix and Flagstaff – learned the cards were stolen, they arrested Wigington in the jail’s parking lot.
Though now listed as a transient in court records, Wigington was listed as a resident of Puyallup when he was arrested on Dec. 31, 2018, for having a suspended license after being pulled over for speeding on Highway 16. He was sentenced in December to 10 days in jail for that offense. At least five arrest warrants were issued for Wigington during the course of the case, according to documents filed in Kitsap County District Court.
Kitsap County sheriff’s detectives began investigating the theft of the investment account in October after the resident realized the account had been drained of all but 32 cents, according to court documents filed in Kitsap County Superior Court.
Detectives allege they obtained electronic records tying Wigington to the thefts. The resident first learned he had been targeted when he learned someone had tried to buy a car at a Seattle auto dealer using his name and identification.
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In Arizona, Wigington is facing multiple charges, including fraud schemes, possession of a forgery device, aggravated identity theft and fraudulent use of a credit card as well as possession of a dangerous drug, according to a statement from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office.
Wigington faces 15 charges in Kitsap County Superior Court, including first-degree theft and money laundering. Prosecutors added “aggravating circumstances” to some of the charges for the crimes being “major economic offenses” and crimes that require a “high degree of sophistication.”
If convicted of the “aggravating circumstances,” Wigington could face a longer prison sentence than under normal sentencing guidelines.
This article originally appeared on Kitsap Sun: Identity theft dark web scheme leaves victim with only 32 cents