General Crime

Ex-Wife of Former Police Official Sentenced in Identity Theft Scheme

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The ex-wife of a Pacific Grove police commander was sentenced this week to prison for her part in criminal identity thefts she and her former husband committed while he was on the police force, according to the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office. Judge Julie Culver sentenced Kristin Nyunt in Superior Court in Salinas to eight years and four months in prison, but Nyunt will be released after three years and eight months and serve the rest of the time under mandatory supervision, Deputy District Attorney Steve Somers said Wednesday.

Nyunt pleaded guilty in July of one count of residential burglary, two counts of forgery, five counts of identity theft and two counts of computer network fraud in a scheme involving her former husband and one-time veteran police officer John Nyunt, Somers said. During its investigation of the case, the district attorney’s office reviewed tens of thousands of emails, text messages and financial documents and with the FBI interviewed dozens of witnesses and identity theft victims, Somers said.

According to prosecutors, while John Nyunt served as commander of the Pacific Grove Police Department, Kristen Nyunt obtained from her husband access to secure police email and online databases that she used to acquire people’s Social Security numbers, bank account numbers and other personal information to commit dozens of identity thefts.

The couple also started an unlicensed private investigation business and clients who hired them later became victims of identity thefts that John Nyunt covered up in his position as police commander, Somers reported. At one point, John Nyunt threatened to harm Kristin Nyunt to prevent her from revealing their scheme, according to the district attorney’s office.

On April 24, John Nyunt pleaded guilty in Superior Court to one count of dissuading a person from reporting a crime by threats of violence, one count of being an accessory after the fact to theft and burglary and one count of being an accomplice to the burglary of a business, all felonies, prosecutors said.

He was sentenced to three years in state prison, according to the district attorney’s office. Also on April 24, John Nyunt was charged in U.S. District Court in San Jose with one count of extortion and one count of wire fraud and he pleaded guilty to both charges on May 13, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In a plea bargain, John Nyunt agreed to be sentenced to two years in federal prison to run concurrently with his state court sentence, federal officials said.

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