August 5, 2014 / 5:20 AM / 5 years ago

Taxi driver disguised in wig, bra, pleads guilty to fleecing customers

(Reuters) - A Maryland man who dressed up as a woman to fleece intoxicated passengers for more than $200,000 while driving a taxi in Washington, D.C. pleaded guilty Monday to first-degree felony fraud, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.

Fifty-year-old Nyerere Mitchell, of Clinton, Maryland, stole PIN codes and ATM cards from more than 60 people, often focusing on young drinkers, between April 2009 and November 2013, prosecutors said. He was arrested last November.

Wearing a disguise of a woman’s wig and a padded bra, Mitchell drove a silver Range Rover SUV and focused on picking up passengers near popular bar and nightclub areas in D.C., including Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, Foggy Bottom, Chinatown, and Arlington, Virginia, prosecutors said.

Mitchell was charged with five counts of fraud, with each charge carrying a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison.

The plea agreement also calls for him to pay $228,036 in restitution. Mitchell will be held in jail until his sentencing on Oct. 10.

John Clarke reported from Annapolis, Maryland; Editing by Sharon Bernstein and Matt Driskill

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