- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 17, 2015

CLEVELAND (AP) - A Cleveland man has pleaded guilty to 20 federal charges in an identity theft and credit card fraud scheme that authorities say bilked banks and a company out of nearly $270,000.

Forty-two-year-old Paul Tomko pleaded guilty Tuesday to 10 counts of bank fraud, nine counts of credit card fraud and one count of wire fraud. He initially was charged with aggravated identity theft, but that count was dropped in the plea agreement.

Prosecutors said Tomko, a former FBI informant, obtained a man’s personal identification while seeking help paying for a lawn mower. Tomko used the information to obtain credit cards and open a line of credit in the man’s name to pay property taxes, legal fees and provide himself cash.

A message to his attorney seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.

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