Los Angeles Man Who Traveled to Northwest for Bank Fraud Sentenced to Prison Defendant and Co-Conspirator Arrested at Sea-Tac with Cache of Fake Ids
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 08, 2009|
LAMOS WAYNE STURGIS, 57, of Los Angeles, California, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 34 months in prison, three years of supervised release and $17,389 in restitution for Identification Document Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft. STURGIS was arrested in mid-November 2008, with a cache of fake identities as he tried to clear security and board a plane at Sea-Tac airport. During a brief visit to the Pacific Northwest, STURGIS had attempted to drain victim bank accounts at various banks. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman urged him to get his drug addiction under control and told him, “you have been at this for a very long time.”
According to the January 30, 2009, plea agreement, STURGIS arrived at Sea-Tac on November 13, 2008, with co-defendant Jodi Lynn Waller and others involved in the conspiracy. The group planned to travel to banks and use the false identities to drain customer accounts. After their arrival at Sea-Tac, STURGIS and the co-conspirators tried to make a $5,000 cash withdrawal from a customer account at a Wells Fargo Bank branch in Auburn, Washington. Approximately four hours later, STURGIS tried to make another $5,000 withdrawal from a different customer account at a Wells Fargo branch in Portland, Oregon. The next day, November 14, 2008, STURGIS attempted a third time to withdraw $2,500 from another customer account at a Portland Wells Fargo branch. In each case, alert tellers refused to hand over the money. At least one of STURGIS’s co-conspirators was more successful—at a Wells Fargo branch in Portland, a female co-conspirator withdrew $2,500 from a victim account. When arrested at Sea-Tac STURGIS had fake social security cards or drivers licenses in the names of nineteen different people.
In his sentencing memo, Assistant United States Attorney Michael Scoville quoted the victim impact statements from those who were targeted by this ID theft ring. Mr. Scoville wrote to the court, “Identity theft is a serious crime whose victims suffer lasting consequences. As victim L.M. remarked, ‘[w]e no longer feel safe knowing our information is “out there.”’ In a similar vein, victim P.B. commented that ‘[i]t is very frightening and nerve-racking to know that someone, somewhere may still have this information and use it and I would be subjected to this harrowing experience all over again.’” This is not the first time STURGIS has victimized others with identity theft. A mere seven months before his arrest in this case, he was sentenced in Georgia for similar activity.
The case was investigated by the FBI, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Scoville and Kurt Hermanns.