Man pleads guilty to defrauding ex-comrades

A former U.S. Marine pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday to tapping into his former comrades' bank accounts and stealing thousands of dollars while they were away fighting in Iraq.

Edgar Hermosillo, 24, of El Paso, Texas, pleaded guilty to wire fraud, identity theft and conspiracy after hacking into 26 bank accounts and stealing $39,094.

Hermosillo served in the Marines between 2001 and 2005.

Before he was discharged, he obtained bank account numbers and personal identification codes from a computer based in Camp Pendleton, Calif., according to the federal government.

Through the Pacific Marine Credit Union, he accessed the accounts of 15 enlisted Marines.

He then wired money from the bank accounts to Western Union sites in Nevada, Texas and New Mexico, using bogus identification cards to pick up the cash.

"The defendant stole nearly $40,000 from the bank accounts of several U.S. Marines using false identification cards and unauthorized money transfers," U.S. Attorney Gregory Brower said. "Fortunately, the defendant was caught before the total loss amount became even larger.

"The fact that the defendant stole from Marines serving in a combat zone makes this crime exceptionally egregious." Brower added.

Hermosillo is scheduled to be sentenced July 7.