Ringleader in “Wig Lady” Bank Fraud Scheme Pleads Guilty
Conspirators Used Wigs, Glasses and Other Accessories to Impersonate Victims
Greenbelt, Maryland - Charles H. Belim, a/k/a Ronald Lampkin, age 58, of Capitol Heights, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to bank fraud and aggravated identity theft arising out of a scheme to defraud banks and obtain money from account holders, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to his plea agreement, from January to October 2006, at Belim’s direction, co-conspirators pickpocketed unsuspecting victims in order to steal credit cards, driver’s licenses, social security cards and other forms of identification. Belim then had false identification documents produced from the stolen personal information. Belim had his wife, Jacqueline Belim, and others involved in the scheme impersonate the victims, using wigs, glasses and other accessories to more closely resemble the victim. According to court documents, Jacqueline Belim and others sometimes altered identification cards, such as driver’s licenses, by replacing the victims’ photographs with their own. Charles Belim provided the false documents to co-conspirators that he recruited to impersonate the victims and take money from the victims’ bank accounts located in Maryland. Belim and his co-conspirators typically defrauded several banks on the same day or successive days. Belim had engaged in the same fraudulent conduct in Boston and New York, and frequently drove those he recruited to Maryland to participate in the scheme.
The scheme involved more than 50 victims and resulted in losses between $70,000 and $120,000.
Belim faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for bank fraud, and a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence received, for aggravated identity theft. U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. has scheduled sentencing for July 17, 2009 at 9:30 a.m.
Jacqueline Elaine Belim, age 48, of Capitol Heights, Maryland, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 61 months in prison for bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the Montgomery County Department of Police and the U.S. Secret Service Metro Area Fraud Task Force, including the U.S. Secret Service and Boston Police Department for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emily Glatfelter and Gina Simms, who are prosecuting the case.