News and Press Releases

Defendant Gets Lengthy Federal Term after Repeated Arrests by Local Law Enforcement

March 2, 2007

TAMSIN MARIE BERGMAN, 32, of Seattle, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to four years in prison, three years of supervised release and $9,642 in restitution for Production of False Identification Documents and Aggravated Identity Theft. BERGMAN pleaded guilty on November 30, 2006. She admitted a scheme of stealing mail, creating counterfeit checks and identity documents, and then using those documents to obtain goods and services. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez told her “ID theft has become a huge problem in this country.... It effects everyone across the country.”

According to documents filed in the case, BERGMAN was arrested six times in 2006 for forgery or identity theft related offenses. These arrests occurred right after BERGMAN completed her supervised release for a prior federal conviction for mail theft. In asking for a significant sentence Assistant United States Attorney Vince Lombardi wrote to the court, “Ms. Bergman is a poster child for a growing problem in this district: methamphetamine addicts who steal mail from innocent citizens, and then use the stolen information to commit fraud and identity theft, all for the purpose of feeding their addiction.”

Judge Martinez noted that BERGMAN had first appeared before him nine years ago. “I first met you when you were 23-years-old, and you were stealing mail even then,” he said. BERGMAN told Judge Martinez that her crimes were “never to come up in the world with a lot of money, it was just to survive.” She said she was living for a time under the I-5 freeway.

Judge Martinez urged BERGMAN to use her time in prison and on supervised release to beat her drug addiction. “You are an intelligent and articulate individual. You have the means to succeed without resorting to criminal activity, but you must overcome your demon, your addiction. Otherwise all we can do is warehouse you for longer and longer prison terms,” the Judge said.

BERGMAN was prosecuted as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office working group on Identity Theft. Under the Aggravated Identity Theft statute passed in 2004, an additional 24 month sentence is to run consecutive to any underlying conviction. In this case, BERGMAN was sentenced to 24 months for Production of False Documents and 24 months for Aggravated Identity Theft.

This case was investigated by U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Seattle Police Department, the Clyde Hill Police Department and the King County Sheriff’s Department. The King County Prosecutors Office assisted in the prosecution of the case. Assistant United States Attorney Vince Lombardi prosecuted the case.

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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