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Ex-military reservist gets prison for ID theft of fellow soldiers

A military reservist from Pomona was sentenced to more than three years in prison Tuesday for stealing the identities of seven fellow soldiers while stationed abroad to scam 10 financial institutions in the U.S. of roughly $217,000, prosecutors said.

Former U.S. Army reservist Gustavo Cervantes, 24, was sentenced to three years, eight months in prison and ordered to jointly pay roughly $180,000 in restitution along with his cousin, Rigoberto Cortez, 30, who prosecutors say used the stolen identities to set up the scam.

During a 10-month period starting in January 2013, prosecutors said Cervantes stole the soldiers’ information while stationed in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan. He forwarded the information to Cortez who, from his Pomona home, used it to establish lines of credit.

Both men pleaded no contest to seven counts of identity theft and one count of grand theft. They also admitted a white-collar crime enhancement for a financial loss exceeding $100,000, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

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As part of the sentencing Tuesday, Cortez also must pay additional restitution of $37,658.18.

For news as it happens in California, follow @JasonBretWells

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