News and Press Releases

Seattle Woman Used Identities of a Dozen Women to Run up More than $170,000 in Credit Card Charges

October 13, 2006

ELIZABETH LAPLANTE ANGOUS, 47, of Seattle, Washington was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 95 months in prison, five years of supervised release and $170,793 in restitution in connection with a 40 count indictment for bank fraud, wire fraud, social security fraud, credit card fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft. The charges stem from a six month rampage during which ANGOUS stole and used the identities of at least a dozen women to defraud banks and merchants. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez noted that ID theft puts a terrible strain on the victims, and that ANGOUS had renewed her ID theft scheme after doing time in state prison for previous ID theft convictions.

According to the plea agreement ANGOUS signed on March 3, 2006, she admits that in the first half of 2005 she used false identities to fraudulently raid victims bank accounts at various Bank of America branches throughout the northwest. ANGOUS also admitted she took out numerous “instant credit” accounts in victims names and ran up huge credit card bills at a variety of stores.

In asking the court for a lengthy sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Sue Harrison noted that the damage of Identity theft goes beyond the financial loss to banks and businesses. The women whose identities were stolen continue to suffer. “Many merchants refer the debts created by Elizabeth Angous to collection agencies, which in turn dun the female victims at work and home. Often, when one of the victims try to explain to the collection agencies that she is the victim of identity theft, the collection agencies respond with incredulity and sarcasm,” Harrison wrote in her sentencing memo.

Judge Martinez sentenced ANGOUS to 71 months for the underlying fraud charge, and an additional consecutive sentence of 24 months for the Aggravated Identity Theft charge.

ANGOUS was prosecuted as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Working Group on Identity Theft. The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, FBI, Lynnwood Police Department, and Sammamish Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sue Harrison.

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

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