Richland man admits defrauding his father

RICHLAND - A 32-year-old Richland man who admitted fraudulently opening numerous credit cards in his father's name was sentenced to 20 days in jail.

Judge Vic VanderSchoor said Shawn P. Gneiting could complete his time on work crew after he pleaded guilty Wednesday in Benton County Superior Court to first-degree identity theft.

Gneiting also was ordered to pay $53,343 in restitution to Capital One, Juniper Business Card Services and Wells Fargo Business Direct.

According to court documents, the fraudulent accounts were discovered when Gneiting's father, Brent, received a call from a credit card company about a late payment.

Brent Gneiting told Richland police that he called his wife, who handled the bills, and she said they didn't have a card with that company.

Gneiting ran his credit report and found three accounts opened without his knowledge. He questioned his son about them, and Shawn admitted opening accounts for his trading business because he had lost money in the stock market.

Investigators said 12 credit cards had been opened and estimated the total loss at $252,000.