A 24-year-old St. Louis Park man who posed as the Minneapolis head of the FBI in a letter pleaded guilty on Monday.
The letter intended to explain Aron Shamilov's low credit score to an apartment leasing office. It said Shamilov is "dealing with a very major Social Security breach" and that he is the victim of a "credit card fraud and identity theft totaling more than $50,000," according to a court document.
The letter had the seal of the FBI and was purportedly written on March 9 by Richard Thornton, special agent in charge of the Minneapolis FBI.
Prosecutors say Shamilov wrote in the letter that Thornton was assigned to investigate his case, which was in its early stages. "We can say that the person responsible for majority of the crimes committed on Aron's Social Security number is someone who was once close to him and we are in the process of tracking this person's whereabouts," the letter said. "The claims made by Aron, are in fact real and his whole identity has been compromised."
On May 2, the property manager of the apartment complex contacted the FBI to confirm the authenticity of the letter. After reviewing it, the FBI told the property manager that the letter was fabricated.
A sentencing hearing for Shamilov is scheduled for March 16. He faces up to three years in prison and a fine of $250,000.