Second Person Pleads Guilty to Identity Theft and Bank Fraud
BOISE – Luisa Lamonthe, 29, of Oakland, California, pled guilty today in U.S. District Court in Boise to bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.
According to the plea agreement, on two occasions on January 13, 2011, Lamonthe entered Wells Fargo bank branches located in Meridian and Eagle, Idaho, and impersonated bank customers by presenting false identification showing Lamonthe's picture, but having a genuine customer's name. Lamonthe used the customers' account numbers to obtain the customers' account balance. Security cameras at both locations captured images of Lamonthe as she was making the inquiries. Law enforcement arrested Lamonthe near a Wells Fargo Branch in Boise, accompanied by two other individuals, both of whom committed similar customer impersonations at Wells Fargo banks. At the time of Lamonthe's arrest, law enforcement discovered the false identification hidden in her jacket.
According to the plea agreement, Lamonthe traveled to Idaho from California to commit the crimes. Prior to arriving in Idaho, she traveled through Arizona in August 2010 and Utah in December 2010, with an accomplice who was with her when she was arrested in Boise. In these areas, Lamonthe and her accomplice impersonated bank customers at Wells Fargo Bank branches. Lamonthe agreed to take joint and several responsibility for the frauds committed by her and her accomplice of at least $169,100.
Lamonthe's male co-defendant, Justine Lawrenz Lingatong, 24, of Carson, California, is in custody in Arkansas on similar but unrelated charges. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Boise before Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale on November 28.
In a related case, Janelyn Dasig, 27, of San Francisco, California, who was arrested with Lamonthe and Lingatong, pled guilty on September 13 to bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. According to her plea agreement, on four separate occasions in January 2011, Dasig impersonated bank customers and used the customers' account number to withdraw approximately $18,300. Dasig is scheduled to be sentenced in Boise on December 5.
Bank fraud, as charged in count three of the indictment, carries a maximum punishment of up to 30 years in prison, a fine up to $1 million, and up to five years supervised release. Aggravated identity theft, as charged in count five, carries a mandatory minimum term of two years in prison, consecutive to other counts, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a term of supervised release for up to one year.
Lamonthe is scheduled to be sentenced on January 23, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Boise.
The case was investigated by U.S. Secret Service and the Boise Police Department, with assistance from Wells Fargo.
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