LOS ANGELES – A former democratic state Assemblyman for California’s 52nd district on Monday was arrested by FBI agents on charges he defrauded First City CU, LA Financial CU and Farmers and Merchants Bank out of tens of thousands of dollars by falsely claiming to be the victim of identity theft.
Carl Washington, 47, who most recently was a Los Angeles County probation officer, was charged with three counts of bank fraud and three counts of making a false statement to a federally insured financial institution.
The indictment alleges Washington obtained credit cards and loans that he used to purchase goods and services. After using the credit cards to make the purchases, Washington allegedly filed a police report with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, falsely claiming to be the victim of identity theft, and reporting that the credit cards and loans had been opened by someone else, officials said.
Washington allegedly would provide a copy of the false police report to Experian, one of the three major credit reporting agencies, and have Experian remove the credit cards and loans – many of which had substantial unpaid balances and past due amounts – from his credit report.
Once Experian removed the items from Washington’s credit report, Washington allegedly would send out applications for new credit cards without disclosing to the credit unions his outstanding debts or the fact he had information relating to those debts removed from his credit report.
If the new credit cards applications were approved by the credit unions, Washington would run up several thousand dollars more worth of debt and file another police report claiming that the new credit cards were the result of identity theft, according to the indictment.
The arrest was part of a year-long internal review into alleged staff misconduct that has resulted in more than 40 arrests since the start of this year, officials said.