News and Press Releases

Former Carson City/Incline Village Resident Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for False Passport Offense

May 2, 2011

Reno, Nev. – A former Carson City/Incline Village resident who used the identity of a deceased man to obtain a United States Passport, was sentenced today to two years in prison, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Lawrence Joseph Read, 67, currently of San Diego, California, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Larry R. Hicks. Read pleaded guilty on January 18, 2011, to one count of aggravated identity theft, or more specifically, using a false name on a passport application. He was originally charged by criminal indictment in February 2010.

On March 10, 2003, Read filed an affidavit alleging that his passport had been damaged, and submitted an application for a United States Passport to the United States Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, using the name, date of birth, and Social Security Number of Michael Truman Hummel. In support of the application, Read presented a Nevada driver's license containing his own photograph and an Incline Village, Nevada address, but the name of Michael Truman Hummel, who had died in Oregon in 1996. Read was issued a United States Passport in Hummel's name.

On December 12, 2006, Read submitted an application for "Additional Visa Pages" at the American Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, again using the name, date of birth, and Social Security number of Michael Truman Hummel. On that application, Read listed a permanent residence address and mailing address of Carson City, Nevada.

Under federal law, persons who commit crimes at overseas American Embassies can be prosecuted in the federal judicial district of the person's last known address, which in this case was the District of Nevada.

This case was investigated by the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), the law enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of State, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brian Sullivan.

Read's crimes were discovered in 2010 as part of "Operation Death Match," a program of the DSS that compares passport applications with state death records. Anyone with information about false or fraudulently issued passports is encouraged to contact DSS at (415) 705-1176.

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