Decorated Va. sailor charged in identity theft case

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A high-ranking, decorated Navy sailor faces federal charges for allegedly committing bank fraud and identity theft against two of his subordinates.

Clayton Pressley III, began obtaining loans using other sailors’ personal information as far back as July 2015, according to recently unsealed documents from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Senior Chief Pressley enlisted in 1997 and worked his way up to a specialized bomb disposal unit. He served in the war on terrorism and earned a Bronze Star, according to a biography provided by the Navy.

But on April 14, Pressley was arrested on bank fraud and identity theft charges. He’s since been released on bond, but required to wear a GPS monitor.

According to an affidavit, in August 2015 a sailor identified by the initials, JB, found out that his name, address and social security number had been used to apply for a loan. JB followed the chain of command to notify his supervisor, Pressley.

But then in October, a bank’s fraud department contacted JB to notify him that the name “Clayton Pressley” was listed on an account under JB’s name.

The next day JB notified NCIS that, “His identity had been used to apply for and receive fraudulent loans and credit cards.”

In early January, another sailor identified in the affidavit as NH, “Contacted NCIS to report he was a victim of identity theft, and believed his former supervisor, Pressley, was responsible.”

Fraud investigators with one of the banks informed NCIS that Pressley had taken out $24,000 in loans under the two sailors’ names, according to the court documents.

“As the supervisor of both JB and NH, Pressley would have had access to their personal identifiable information, including; full name, full social security number, addresses, telephone numbers and pay information based on time in service and rank,” according to the affidavit.

Pressley waived his right to a preliminary hearing April 29. His next court date has not been scheduled.

The Navy reassigned him to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, and as a condition of his $10,000 bond, he is not allowed to have contact with his alleged victims.

Pressley’s attorney did not return a call for comment.

Both prosecutors and a spokesperson for the Navy declined to comment.

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