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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Kansas

Monday, December 19, 2016

Man Admits Using Stolen Identity To Try to Buy $52,000 Car

WICHITA, KAN. - An Arizona man pleaded guilty Monday to using a stolen identity in an effort to buy a $52,000 car from a Wichita auto dealer, U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said.

Thomas Rye, 36, Phoenix, Ariz., pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. In his plea, he admitted that on Jan. 2, 2016, he called Eddy’s Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Wichita and applied for a pre-approved line of credit to purchase a car. He used a stolen identity for a credit check and tried to use the victim’s credit to buy a Dodge Challenger Hellcat valued at $52,725. Mistakes in the credit application paperwork caused employees of the dealership to become suspicious and they called police. Rye was arrested at the scene.

Rye was one of 13 defendants named in an indictment in May alleging they were part of an organization that attempted to fraudulently obtain a total of $3.5 million in credit and cash. The indictment alleged the conspirators divided up the work of stealing mail from mailboxes, fraudulently applying for credit and shopping with stolen identities.

Sentencing is set for March 6. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Beall commended the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department, the Wichita Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Metzger and Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Barnett for their work on the case.

Identity Theft
Updated December 19, 2016