Former California Lawmaker Accused of Defrauding Credit Unions
Carl Edward Washington, a former California state assemblyman and Los Angeles County Probation Department intergovernmental relations chief, was arrested this week after being charged with defrauding three financial institutions, including two credit unions.
According to U.S. District Court documents filed Sept. 13 in California’s Central District, Washington allegedly obtained credit cards from financial institutions, including the $492 million First City Credit Union of Los Angeles and the $360 million LA Financial Federal Credit Union of Pasadena, charged several thousand dollars to the cards, then claimed the charges were fraudulent, falsely claiming to be the victim of identity theft.
A release from the office of U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said that Washington would provide a copy of the bogus police report to credit reporting agency Experian, and request they remove the credit card and loan histories from his credit report. The loans had substantial unpaid balances and past due amounts, the release said.
Once Experian removed the items from Washington’s credit report, Washington allegedly would send out applications for new credit cards without disclosing to the banks his outstanding debts or the fact that he had information relating to those debts removed from his credit report.
The court documents also mention the $23 million Mid-Cities Financial Credit Union of Compton, where Washington also allegedly obtained credit, only to later claim to Experian that the accounts were the result of identity theft. Washington made the claim to Experian in July 2009 while he was attempting to obtain new credit from Farmers and Merchants Bank of Long Beach, Calif.