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Convicted forger who posed as CIA officer is back in custody

PETERSBURG, Va. — A Petersburg man who forged a federal judge’s signature was allowed to remain free for mental health treatment that apparently has been less than successful.

Joshua C. Brady, 27, had been charged with impersonating a CIA officer and recruiting others to rob banks for the intelligence agency. Those charges were dropped after it was determined he has serious psychiatric problems.

Instead, he was allowed to plead guilty to forging the signature of U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne in an effort to win back his cellphone service. On May 8, he was sentenced to time served and placed on supervised release.

Now Brady is back in custody, charged with impersonating a Department of Homeland Security agent last month in a bizarre and unclear scheme involving the St. Francis Medical Center in Midlothian and the VCU Medical Center in Richmond.

Details were not available in a four-page criminal complaint filed June 26 by a real Homeland Security special agent who alleged Brady was posing as someone named Jacob Attlinger.

But according to the June 26 complaint, “Attlinger” asked VCU police for a room in the hospital’s critical care department that could be equipped with audio and video surveillance for an undercover operation to start on June 27.

Brady allegedly asked the security manager at St. Francis for a hospital room to conduct an undercover operation.

The complaint then alleges that investigators interviewed a woman said to be an associate of Brady’s and that she told them Brady had food delivered to her husband’s hospital room last month.

Authorities would not comment beyond the information in the complaint, a page of which has been redacted.

The woman, who is apparently not facing any charges, said that after her husband died on June 6, she met Brady at a Starbucks in Chester where he helped her with acquiring her late husband’s military discharge form.

In addition to the new criminal charge, Brady has also been charged with violating the terms of his supervised release in May. He is to appear before U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr. on July 18.

Last year, Brady was indicted for impersonating a government official and three counts of attempted bank robbery after he posed as a CIA agent “and in such assumed and pretended character solicited individuals to rob banks on behalf of the United States.”

In June 2012, Brady allegedly directed the attempted robbery of a Capital One Bank in Fairfax County and SunTrust and BB&T banks in Alexandria, the indictment said.

In papers filed in April, prosecutors noted, “Although there is some disagreement between mental health professionals about Brady’s diagnosis, there is complete agreement that he suffers from serious mental health problems that provide him with a defense to attempted bank robbery and false impersonation charges.”

Officials said psychologists found that Brady was diagnosed with delusional disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and paranoid schizophrenia.

Prosecutors, however, wrote that Brady has the capacity to lie and deceive others into the attempted bank robberies and that he even attempted to deceive a psychologist who evaluated him.

He was allowed to plead guilty to forging Payne’s signature under an agreement in which prosecutors recommended a sentence of seven months already served — sentencing guidelines called for a term of two to eight months — followed by three years of supervised probation.

However, on Monday, a probation officer reported that while Brady had cooperated with his intensive treatment under the care of a therapist and psychiatrist, he had been arrested on the new impersonation charge.

A sentencing memorandum filed by his lawyer in April said Brady lived at home with his mother and stepfather, who support him, and that he had struggled for many years with undetected mental health issues.

fgreen@timesdispatch.com
 

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