Former Vikings security guard pleads guilty in identity theft

Updated: October 16, 2003, 11:25 PM ET

MINNEAPOLIS -- A former Minnesota Vikings security guard pleaded guilty Thursday to using a player's identification to obtain credit cards.

Brent D. Griffith, 37, of Benson, pleaded guilty in Hennepin County District Court to one felony count of financial transaction card fraud. He admitted he took personal information from running back Michael Bennett, applied for credit cards and then used one of the cards at least five times.

Griffith was scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 11 by Judge Richard Hopper. No plea agreement was arranged, and County Attorney Amy Klobuchar said her office will seek workhouse time. Griffith is also a former Eden Prairie police officer.

According to a criminal complaint, Bennett had reported receiving letters from three credit card companies that had opened accounts in his name. Bennett said his correct name and Social Security number were used, but the wrong maiden name of his mother was given. The letters were addressed to the Vikings' headquarters in Eden Prairie.

On Aug. 4, Bennett contacted the team's security representative about receiving credit card statements from a gasoline company of which he had no knowledge. Surveillance tapes from the stores identified Griffith as the person using the card, the complaint said.

Eden Prairie officers searched Griffith's work locker on Aug. 14 and found personal information about several players, including credit card applications, a medical bill, a 1099 tax form, court papers and a hotel rewards card.

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