An Irvine man arrested in 2006 by a federal Orange County Identity Theft Task Force after stealing more than $400,000 in a credit card fraud scheme is being released from custody after he pleaded guilty.
Douglas Scott Frey, who was 36 years old at the time of his arrest, committed crimes that triggered federal sentencing guidelines of a 63 to 78-month prison punishment.
But government agents this week moved to reduce Frey's liability by six months because he provided "extraordinary assistance" while in custody to the U.S. Secret Service, IRS criminal division and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
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Exactly what Frey did for federal agents is unknown. His file is loaded with sealed documents.
Federal officials nabbed Frey in Operation Broken Trust that busted a Southern California identity theft ring. The crooks stole identities and then manipulated credit reports to make high end purchases including illegal narcotics. According to U.S. Department of Justice records, this particular swindler "obtained unauthorized access devices" (credit card numbers) from Orange County mortgage brokers and hotels.
Thanks to Frey's cooperation, government officials agreed to limit his punishment to time already served since his arrest.