News and Press Releases

California Woman Sentenced for Bank Fraud and Identity Theft

January 23, 2012

Identity theft sentencing and plea identify over $225,000 in fraud in multi-state crime spree

BOISE – Luisa Lamonthe, 29, of Oakland, California, was sentenced in United States District Court today to 44 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge ordered Lamonthe to pay restitution to the victims in the amount of $140,700. She pled guilty on November 9, 2011.

According to the plea agreement, Lamonthe admitted that on January 13, 2011, she entered Wells Fargo bank branches located in Meridian and Eagle, Idaho, and impersonated bank customers with the intent to commit bank fraud. According to the plea agreement, security cameras captured video images of Lamonthe as she was making the customer account inquiries. Law enforcement arrested Lamonthe near a Wells Fargo Branch in Boise accompanied by Janelyn Dasig, who was charged separately. A male accomplice evaded arrest that day but was later identified as Justine Lingatong, after he was arrested in Arkansas.

Lingatong, 24, of Carson, California, pled guilty earlier today to bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. According to his plea agreement, on seven occasions between January 11 and January 13, 2011, Lingatong entered Wells Fargo Bank branches in the Treasure Valley and presented false identification showing his picture and the name of a genuine Wells Fargo account holder. He also presented the Wells Fargo account number of the person he was impersonating. Lingatong admitted that on each occasion he withdrew funds from the victim's Wells Fargo account.

Both Lamonthe and Lingatong admitted in their plea agreements that they committed similar customer impersonation bank frauds in Arizona and Utah, sometimes traveling together. Lingatong also admitted similar frauds in New Mexico. The total of all of these frauds was $225,660 as outlined in Lingatong’s plea agreement. Lamonthe’s restitution of $140,700 is part of this total.

Lingatong is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Lodge on April 16, 2012. He faces up to 30 years in prison, a maximum fine of $1 million, and up to five years supervised release for bank fraud. Aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory minimum term of two years in prison, consecutive to other counts, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a term of supervised release for up to one year.

In the related case, Janelyn Dasig, 27, of San Francisco, California, was sentenced on December 6, 2011, to 48 months in prison and ordered to pay $18,300 in restitution to the victims. She pled guilty to bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Dasig committed similar frauds in Idaho but did not travel with Lamonthe and Lingatong in the other states.

The cases were investigated by U.S. Secret Service and the Boise Police Department, with assistance from Wells Fargo.

“The thorough and persistent cooperative work of federal and local law enforcement stopped this ring of identity thieves and has ensured that their victims will be entitled to restitution,” said Olson. “Identity theft creates financial havoc and disrupts lives. We are committed to aggressively prosecuting and seeking long sentences for identity thieves.”