A 19-year Navy veteran and Bronze Star recipient is charged with stealing the identities of at least two subordinates to secure fraudulent loans.
Senior Chief Petty Officer Clayton Pressley III — who is currently assigned to a Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit in Virginia Beach — is set to appear this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Norfolk for a preliminary hearing.
According to court documents, Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents believe Pressley stole the identities of at least two sailors. The first sailor, identified in court documents only by the initials J.B., told investigators last October he received a letter of denial about two months earlier from Discover Financial Services in reference to a personal loan application he did not complete.
The sailor notified his supervisor — Pressley — of the letter and then started researching what happened.
Documents indicate he reviewed his credit report and determined he owed money to at least three other financial institutions he didn’t know about. The sailor also received loan denial letters about that time from four other banks, documents said.
The sailor contacted some of the financial institution behind the loans. While speaking with a representative of one of the banks, the sailor was asked if he was familiar with the name “Clayton Pressley.”
Court documents said the representative later provided the sailor a phone number, which the sailor recognized as his supervisor’s number.
A second sailor called NCIS in January to indicate he also was the victim of identity theft and that he believed Pressley — his former supervisor — was responsible. That sailor, identified by the initials NH, indicated he was contacted through his chain of command about a $10,000 loan he didn’t know about.
Investigators determined some of that loan proceeds were used August 7, 2015, at a Jimmy Johns sub shop in Chesapeake. The food was delivered to Pressley’s home, documents said.
In all, investigators linked Pressley to more than $24,000 in loans issued in the names of the two sailors, according to court documents.
Pressley received his Bronze Star in January 2007, according to a copy of the citation. He received it “for exceptionally meritorious service during Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
“His outstanding dedication to duty during combat operations in Iraq contributed to the overwhelming success of the command’s mission,” the citation said.
According to a biography released by the Navy, Pressley has received several other awards and decorations. Among other things, he has two Navy and Commendation Medals and one Navy and Achievement Medal.
Since October 2014, Pressley has been assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 6. He has been stationed in Hampton Roads since at least 2007, though.
Pressley is out on a $10,000 unsecured bond while awaiting trial. He must wear a GPS-equipped ankle bracelet.
(c)2016 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.) at pilotonline.com
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