Virginia Inmate Pleads Guilty to Holocaust Identity Theft Scheme

An inmate at the Federal Correctional Institute in Petersburg has pleaded guilty to charges in a scheme to cash in bank accounts intended for the families of Holocaust victims.

John Kenneth Leighnor Jr. pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of mail fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft.

The 49-year-old Leighnor faces up to 26 years in prison when sentenced Feb. 3 in federal court in Richmond.

Federal prosecutors say Leighnor used obituaries and dormant Swiss bank accounts to find Holocaust victims. He then would falsely represent himself as a descendant of a Holocaust victim and seek claims on bank accounts abandoned by victims of the Nazis. No money was actually stolen.