Darien man pleads guilty to wire fraud; stole $57,000 from sailor
A Darien man has waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud relating to his theft of more than $57,000 from a former U.S. Navy service member
Christopher Teixeira, 34, used the stolen funds to pay his own personal expenses, and transferred $25,000 to another individual’s account.
John H. Durham, U.S. Attorney for Connecticut and Leigh-Alistair Barzey, Special Agent in Charge of the DCIS Northeast Field Office said in a release that Teixeira made the plea in Hartford federal court on Wednesday.
According to court documents and statements made in court, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service is the agency of the U.S. Department of Defense that administers all payments to U.S. service members. DFAS operates the “MyPay” online portal, through which service members may provide and obtain information related to payments from DFAS.
“A U.S. Navy service member (“the victim”) was scheduled to receive a medical severance payment from the Navy in January 2017. The victim provided his MyPay login and password information to Teixeira, who he trusted with certain financial responsibilities,” the release said.
“On Jan. 10, 2017, before the victim was to receive the medical severance payment, Teixeira changed the victim’s direct deposit information to a bank account controlled by Teixeira. DFAS then sent the victim’s $57,255.66 medical severance payment to Teixeira’s account. In order to avoid detection, Teixeira logged back into the victim’s MyPay account and reverted the direct deposit instructions back to the victim’s bank account.
“Teixeira and the victim communicated after Teixeira stole the medical severance payment. Instead of admitting to the theft, Teixeira told the victim that he would assist in finding the money. When the victim indicated he was in need of funds, Teixeira transferred approximately $6,500 to the victim without telling him that Teixeira had stolen the money.”
The charge of wire fraud carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. Teixeira is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant on February 20, 2019.
Teixeira is released pending sentencing.