Between 2009 and 2013, Nyerere Mitchell drove around D.C. in his silver Range Rover, wearing a wig and padded breasts and pretending to be a female cab driver.
The Maryland man pleaded guilty today in D.C. Superior Court to carrying out a bizarre scheme in which he offered drunk people rides and then convinced them to let him withdraw cash with their ATM cards and PINs at drive-through ATMs. He then, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Ron Machen‘s office, took out more money than he said and secretly switched their bank cards with ones he had previously stolen. He would use each card for the next couple of days, eventually stealing more than $200,000.
Mitchell conned more than 60 people with this scheme from at least April 2009 to November 2013, mostly in party-heavy areas like Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, Foggy Bottom, Chinatown, and in Arlington. His intoxicated customers thought he was a female cab driver.
D.C. police searched Mitchell’s home last November and recovered 205 stolen credit cards in plastic bags inside a shoe box. They also found a wig he was seen wearing in a bank surveillance video.
Mitchell, who was arrested last November, faces five counts of first-degree felony fraud, with each charge carrying a maximum of 10 years in prison and financial penalties. As part of the plea agreement, he must pay $228,036 in restitution. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 10 and in the meantime will stay in prison.
Photo by Darrow Mongtomery