News and Press Releases

Long Sentence to Protect the Public from Repeat Offender

June 19, 2006

SCOTT DANIEL PUTNAM, 43, of Issaquah, Washington, was sentenced today to 51 months in prison, five years of supervised release and $28,357 in restitution for Bank Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft. At sentencing Judge James L. Robart told PUTNAM, “The court has an intolerant view of identity theft. I have presided over identity theft trials and heard from victims.... these are real flesh and blood people whose lives are terribly affected.”

According to records filed in the case, PUTNAM first came to the attention of law enforcement in 2004, when a King County Sheriff’s detective determined PUTNAM was using high quality counterfeit drivers licenses to assume the identities of other people so he could pass bad checks at area retailers. A court authorized search of PUTNAM’s home in October 2004, uncovered identifying information for 75 different individuals. On PUTNAM’s computer investigators found the templates for fraudulent Washington, Oregon, and Alaska Drivers Licenses, fraudulent Social Security cards, Disabled Parking placards and bogus checks. PUTNAM was arrested at the time of the search but was released pending the filing of charges. Over the next six months, PUTNAM was arrested four times for identity theft related transactions. Two of those cases were resolved through a diversion to the King County drug court program.

PUTNAM was indicted in March 2006, after investigating officers found another complete counterfeiting mill in his Issaquah trailer, including computer equipment, a scanner, and a laminating machine.

In asking for a lengthy sentence, Special Assistant United States Attorney Norman Barbosa told the court, “a long term of imprisonment is the only way to protect the public.”

PUTNAM apologized to his victims and asked the court that he get treatment for his drug addiction while incarcerated. “I don’t want to be here anymore, I’m getting too old for this,” he said.

Judge Robart questioned whether PUTNAM really could change his pattern, telling his attorney, “I’m very skeptical of your argument that he really wants to change this time. I don’t see anything that is different this time.”

Attorney Paula Deutsch answered, “He’s with the feds now and that is a huge difference.” Deutsch said the state arrests give a false impression that no one is serious about prosecuting identity theft.

PUTNAM was prosecuted federally with the new Aggravated Identity Theft statute that mandates an additional 24 month term on top of the sentence imposed for an underlying crime such as Bank Fraud. The United States Attorney’s Office has a new working group assigned to prosecute qualifying cases under the federal statute.

The case was investigated by the Sammamish Police Department and the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General. The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Norman Barbosa whose position with the office is funded by the Social Security Administration. Barbosa specializes in the prosecution of identity related frauds.

For more information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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