A former South Bay assemblyman who now works for the Los Angeles County Probation Department is expected to plead guilty Monday to federal bank fraud charges, admitting he bilked financial institutions by falsely claiming to be the victim of identity theft.
Carl Washington, 47, of Paramount admitted masterminding a four-year scheme in which he obtained credit cards and loans from banks and credit unions, racking up thousands of dollars in charges for airline tickets, hotels, restaurants, rental cars and cash advances, according to a plea agreement filed Wednesday in Los Angeles federal court.
After obtaining about $193,000 in goods, cash and services, Washington filed police reports claiming to be the victim of identity theft and reporting that the cards and loans had been opened by someone unknown to him, according to court papers.
The indictment states that Washington subsequently filed a copy of the bogus police report with Experian, one of the three major credit reporting agencies, so the charges and past due amounts would be removed from his credit report.
Once Experian removed the charges, Washington applied for new credit cards without disclosing his outstanding debts or the fact that he had charges and unpaid balances removed, according to federal prosecutors.
When new credit cards were issued, Washington again ran up debts worth another couple of thousand dollars and filed yet another police report, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Washington, who admitted operating the scheme from February 2007 to August 2011, is the Probation Department's director for intergovernmental relations and legislative affairs.
Washington is a former Baptist preacher who represented a Gardena-to-Paramount Assembly district from 1996 to 2002.
After Washington was termed out of office, he lost a race for a Los Angeles City Council seat to Jan Perry.
After he enters his guilty pleas, a sentencing date will be set.