A Virginia Commerce Bank in Arlington, Va. (Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post)

A former vice president who specialized in government contracting at two Northern Virginia banks forged signatures and stole identities to spur millions in loans that should not have been approved, leading to more than $3 million in losses.

On Thursday morning, 39-year-old Kirk Russel Marsh pleaded guilty in Alexandria federal court to wire fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Prosecutors allege that he had attempted scams much bigger in scale, trying to win nearly $11 million in financing under false pretenses.

At Virginia Commerce Bank (VCB) from 2009 to 2012 and Fulton Bank from 2012 to 2015, according to court documents, Marsh used his job issuing commercial loans to local government contracting businesses to commit fraud. Using falsified documents and reports and forged signatures from other bank officers, he approved loans that did not meet the banks’ lending criteria. He also intentionally let borrowers use business loans for personal expenses. At VCB, now owned by United Bank, he caused the issuance of more than $1.25 million in fraudulent loans. At Fulton Bank, it was more than $6 million.

In 2014, Marsh stole a former client’s identity to get a $1 million line of credit from his own bank, buy a data management company called Wave Software and make the down payment on his house, his plea states.

Marsh continued to oversee accounts linked to Wave Software at Fulton Bank without disclosing he owned the company. He paid Wave’s expenses with a $485,000 line of business credit Fulton Bank issued to another person. That person, identified in court papers only as X.S., also used some of the loan to pay his children’s private school tuition.

Marsh still owes $800,000 to the original owner of Wave Software, according to court documents.

Marsh was working with co-conspirators who are not named in court documents. In August 2015, he agreed to cooperate with federal agents from the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Both banks received millions of dollars from TARP, created at the height of the financial crisis to bail out failing financial institutions.

Yet while negotiations were underway, Marsh continued using stolen identities — including those of his parents and former clients — to fraudulently seek loans. In one case, he pretended to be interested in buying a cosmetics company called Revive You Media and used the company’s financial information to impersonate the owner and apply for loans.

The fraud attempts continued until Marsh’s arrest in late July, according to prosecutors who said he targeted Wells Fargo and PNC banks, among others.

Marsh, according to court documents, lives in Oakton, Va., with his wife and three young children. He faces up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 17.