Va. men sentenced in Texas bank fraud

Oct. 25, 2009 at 5:58 PM

SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Two Virginia men will serve prison time for defrauding a San Antonio bank by stealing identities and pretending to be in the military, prosecutors say.

Neil MacBride, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said in a release that Joseph Cherry II, 29, of Norfolk has drawn a 112 month prison sentence and Bruce Bridges, 26, of Virginia Beach was given 79 months for defrauding USAA Bank, the San Antonio Express-News reported Sunday.

Officials said Bridges pleaded guilty in June and Cherry pleaded guilty a month later to charges of conspiracy to commit bank and mail fraud and money laundering. More than 20 other charges were dismissed under plea deals.

"These men attempted to divert millions from deserving military families through their fraud and deceit," MacBride said. "Thanks to the FBI and postal service, these defendants were convicted and will now spend years in prison for their crimes."

The Express-News cited court documents saying Cherry, Bridges and Bridges' girlfriend, Pamela Dunbar, perpetrated a scheme in which they used aliases and false identification to obtain 60 military pre-commissioned loans, consumer loans and vehicle loans for $25,000 each.

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