An AWOL soldier living in Pittsburgh has been charged with stealing the identity of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and using his credit card account to make a $658.81 payment on a loan from Armed Forces Bank.
The soldier, Brandon Lee Price, is charged with changing the address on the billionaire's Citibank credit card to Price's home address in Pittsburgh, then phoning in to report the card missing and get a new one sent to the Pittsburgh address, according to a criminal complaint filed in US District Court in Pittsburgh.
On 13 January the card was delivered to Price's address, and the same day charges started appearing on it, the criminal complaint says.
In addition to making the loan payment, the card was used on the same day to attempt a $15,000 Western Union transaction, make $278.18 in purchases from a Pittsburgh GameStop store on the following day, and also on the following day to attempt a $1 purchase at a Family Dollar store within walking distance of Price's home, according to the filing.
An FBI agent trailed Price around his neighborhood, and reported seeing him wearing the same clothing he was wearing in surveillance videos shot at a GameStop store and the Family Dollar store -- a gray knit cap, gray windbreaker with "Army" printed on it and carrying a black backpack, the court papers say.
The agent's conclusion: The man he followed was the same one who was pictured in the videos and that there was probable cause to say Price had broken federal bank fraud laws.
The court filing says Price had been absent without leave from the US Army since June 27, 2010. He is being held in federal custody.