A Beaverton man has been charged with bank fraud and faces up to 30 years in federal prison if convicted, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Friday, April 17.
Winston E. Gray, 30, is accused of impersonating employees from a credit union in Portland in order to scam credit union members out of private financial information and steal their money.
Prosecutors said the Portland Police Bureau was contacted March 30 by an investigator for Rivermark Community Credit Union, who said multiple members had reported getting text messages purportedly from credit union employees.
Allegedly, the scheme involved texting credit union members and asking them to confirm or deny a recent transaction. When they denied the transaction, they would receive a phone call from someone claiming to be a credit union employee, who would then ask for their debit card number and PIN.
Gray used this private information to "clone" victims' debit cards, which he then used to make purchases and withdraw money at ATMs throughout the Portland area, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Gray was identified based on surveillance footage at a Bank of America location on Northwest Cornell Road and body-worn camera footage from a traffic stop, prosecutors said.
He was arrested on April 15 after investigators executed a search warrant at his Beaverton home.
Prosecutors said they seized multiple items of evidence, including: stolen credit and debit cards and drivers' licenses; blank cards with magnetic strips; a card "writer" capable of re-encoding magnetic strips on debit cards; handwritten instructions for committing credit card fraud and identity theft; more than $10,000 in cash; 26 grams of cocaine; a handgun and ammunition; and clothing matching what the suspect wore in the surveillance footage from Bank of America.
Gray appeared in U.S. District Court in Portland on Friday. He remains in federal custody.
If he is convicted, Gray could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison and face a fine of up to $1 million.
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