Logan County Man Pleads Guilty to Fraud in Connection with Sales of Stolen Construction Equipment
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 21, 2013|
COLUMBUS—Todd Allen Lamb, 39, of Bellefontaine, Ohio, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to selling stolen construction equipment, including selling equipment to more than one buyer.
Mark D’Alessandro, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Kevin R. Cornelius, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Logan County Sheriff Andrew J. Smith announced the pleas entered today before U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson.
Lamb pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful interstate transportation of stolen motor vehicles, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and one count of wire fraud, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Lamb was scheduled to go on trial today on the charges arising from the investigation.
According to court documents, Lamb conducted consignment sales and auctions, including sales over the Internet, of vehicles, equipment, and other goods and merchandise under his companies named Almite Services and Almite Auctions. He also sold stolen motor vehicles through the businesses, including a Caterpillar backhoe that he knew was stolen, to a purchaser in Wyoming.
As part of Lamb’s wire fraud scheme, he sold a Mack truck to two different individuals. After he had delivered the truck to the first buyer and was unable to deliver the truck to the second buyer, he falsely told the second buyer that the truck had been stolen from the Port of Jacksonville, Florida. Afterward, Lamb told the second buyer he would refund the purchase price paid and sent to the buyer by an interstate facsimile message a copy of a refund check. The check was never sent to the second buyer.
The plea agreement calls for Lamb to pay $60,000 for the court to use to pay restitution to the victims. The court could order further restitution. Judge Watson will schedule a date for sentencing.
Two others have entered guilty pleas for their role in the scheme. Lamb’s wife, Karen Henry Lamb, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of making false statements relating to transfer of a vehicle title and was sentenced to six months’ probation in October 2012. Daniel J. Huffman, an employee of Lamb’s, pleaded guilty on June 28, 2011, to one count of conspiring with Lamb to transport vehicles stolen in Missouri, Indiana, and Pennsylvania to the Almite businesses in Logan County, Ohio. There, the manufacturers’ identification numbers would be altered for the vehicles to be sold to unsuspecting buyers. Huffman is awaiting sentencing.
Acting U.S. Attorney D’Alessandro commended the investigation by the FBI and Logan County Sheriff’s Office, who were assisted by the Ohio State Highway Patrol; the National Insurance Crime Bureau; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives (ATF), as well as Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dale E. Williams, Jr. and Deborah A. Sanders, who are prosecuting the case.