A 35-year-old Fairfield County man has been sentenced after stealing tens of thousands of dollars from a United States service member to pay for personal expenses.
Christopher Teixeira, formerly of Darien and now living in Norwalk, was sentenced in Hartford district court to six months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release, for stealing more than $57,000 from a former member of the U.S. Navy.
The service member was scheduled to receive a medical severance payment from the Navy in January 2017, U.S. Attorney John Durham said.
The victim provided his “MyPay” login and password information to Teixeira, who he trusted with certain financial responsibilities, according to John Durham, the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut.
Before the victim was set to receive the medical severance payment, Teixeira changed the direct deposit information to a bank account he controlled. DFAS then sent the victim’s $57,255.66 medical several payments to Teixeira’s account, according to authorities.
In an effort to hide his misgivings, Teixeira then logged back into his victim’s MyPay account and reverted the direct deposit information back to the service man’s account.
Teixeira and his victim would later communicate after his severance payment was stolen. Instead of admitting to the theft, Teixeira told the victim that he would assist in finding the money, authorities said.
When the victim indicated he was in need of funds, Teixeira transferred approximately $6,500 to the victim without telling him that he had stolen the money, said authorities.
Durham said Teixeira used the stolen money to pay his own expenses and transferred $25,000 to another person’s account.
Teixeira was also ordered to make full restitution to the victim and the Navy Federal Credit Union.
“Unauthorized access of Department of Defense networks and the victimization of American warfighters present significant risks to U.S. national security and Department of Defense operations, and DCIS special agents will aggressively hunt down and bring cybercriminals to justice,” Jeffery Thorpe, Special Agent in Charge of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service Cyber Field Office said in a statement.
“This sentencing is the direct result of a joint investigative effort between DCIS and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service Criminal Investigations Branch to vigorously investigate individuals who illegally access Department of Defense networks and those that would exploit American warfighters that have served their country. We remain vigilant in our efforts to safeguard the integrity of the Department of Defense and its enterprise of information technology systems.”
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