LAKE STEVENS — A Lake Stevens man is awaiting sentencing in U.S. District Court in Seattle after pleading guilty to robbery and impersonating a federal agent while using the names of a famous con artist and a fictional character as part of his elaborate ruses.
The defendant’s legal name is Steven W. Fisher, 44, although he presented a phony search warrant signed by “Frank Abagnale,” a fraudster portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie “Catch Me If You Can.” Fisher used bogus FBI credentials and a fake gun to rob a Seattle money-transfer business of nearly $130,000.
Fisher pleaded guilty this week to seven felonies, U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes said in a Wednesday news release. Those pleas were for robbery, attempted robbery and five counts of impersonation of a federal officer. Robbery and attempted robbery are punishable by up to 20 years in prison in federal court. Impersonating a federal official can result in three years in prison.
In January 2017, Fisher showed the owner of a Seattle business a fraudulent search warrant. He then pulled the weapon, demanded the man open a safe and locked him in a backroom before stealing cash and computer equipment.
He tried a different con in the summer of 2017 at another money transmitting business in Seattle. In that case, he went by “Jack Ryan,” a famous character in Tom Clancy novels, many of which have been turned into films. Fisher tried to convince the manager that someone was planning on robbing his business. He wanted the manager to describe surveillance cameras and suggested he remove cash from the business. The manager instead called 911 and Seattle police caught up with Fisher when he returned to the business a month later.
When his car was searched, police found a pellet rifle, duct tape and leg manacles. They also discovered a sniper suit, Seattle City Light helmet, vest, goggles and paint. Stowed in the vehicle was a laptop, a two-way radio, body armor and a handgun with ammo.
Police searched his briefcase. Inside, they found a bifold wallet with fraudulent FBI credentials for “Jack Ryan.” The briefcase also held several pairs of handcuffs, bear spray, bolt cutters, a garrote, rope, black gloves and a realistic-looking pellet gun with a silencer.
Seattle police also searched an Everett storage unit rented by Fisher. Inside was paperwork taken from a robbery, according to court documents.
“Defendant’s legal name is Steven W. Fisher,” the 11-page plea agreement made clear. “He is not, and has never been, a special agent with the FBI or any other federal agency.”
The plea agreement was signed Monday.
Fisher is due back in court Oct. 1 for sentencing.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; firstname.lastname@example.org.