Gladstone man defrauded businesses in Portland and Phoenix
Three Portland men also charged in ID theft, bank fraud
A Gladstone man plead guilty last week to federal charges of what essentially amounted to money laundering in a scheme in which he and at least three others would allegedly break into commercial businesses, steal identification and other sensitive materials and then defraud banks and businesses with the stolen information.
Donald Wright, 24, plead guilty to "engaging in prohibited monetary transaction" in a plea bargain, but has not yet been sentenced.
Gregory Michael Zimmerman, 32, of Portland, Bradley David Maier, 49, of Portland and Reggie Maier, 28, of Portland have also been charged with bank fraud and aggravated identity theft in the case.
'The charge to which [Wright] plead alleges that he was part of a group that traveled among the western United States and committed professional burglaries,' said Lance Caldwell, the prosecuting attorney in the case.
The group 'would steal identification and other valuable property … They would use this information to make false identification or in some instances create false checks,' gift cards, and other materials, 'and then they would use these materials to defraud banks and individuals and merchants,' Caldwell said.
In his plea agreement, Wright admitted the total amount stolen 'could total over $200,000.'
The group primarily carried out the burglaries in Phoenix, Ariz., and Portland, according to court documents.
The investigation, which Caldwell said took more than a year, was carried out by the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, the Internal Revenue Services Criminal Investigation division and the U.S. Secret Service.
Although Wright made a plea agreement, Caldwell said 'You shouldn't link his cooperation with these three folks,' though he would not elaborate on what Wright had provided authorities.