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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cleveland Man Indicted for Identity Theft and Credit Card Fraud

A Cleveland man was indicted today for operating an identity theft and credit card fraud scheme in which he defrauded 10 companies out of nearly $270,000, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland Office.

Paul R. Tomko, 41, was indicted on 10 counts of bank fraud, nine counts of access device or credit card fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, and one count of wire fraud. Tomko is accused of defrauding nine financial institutions out of $256,797 and one company out of  $13,247 in 2013. He did this through the unauthorized use of another’s personal identification to obtain credit cards and lines of credit in that person’s name, according to the indictment.

Tomko approached someone identified as J.S. and sought financial assistance in paying for a lawn mower for the maintenance of property Tomko had in the Cinema Park Development, as required by the city of Warrensville Heights.  Tomko obtained J.S.’s personal identification information in the process. Tomko then obtained nine credit cards and opened lines of credit in the name of J.S., and in the name of J.S.’s company, JMS Services Corporation, using the personal information of J.S. without J.S.’s authorization or knowledge, according to the indictment.

Tomko, without the authorization or knowledge of J.S., used the credit cards and lines of credit in the name of J.S. and JMS Services Corporation for Defendant’s own personal use, thereby running up a balance due and owing on each of these credit cards and lines of credit. Once Tomko ran up a balance on these credit cards, he then engaged in a scheme in which he made a payment on each of these credit cards with a worthless check or using an intentionally incorrect account number, thereby keeping the line of credit in place, or even increasing the line of credit with the appearance of a payment. Once Tomko’s check or payment was dishonored or returned, Tomko ceased to make any payments, leaving the financial institutions with a loss.

As a result of this scheme, the indictment charges that Tomko caused losses to the below listed financial institutions in the following approximate amounts:

Financial Institution


Key Bank







US Bank




GE Capital


Fifth Third


Capital One




Some of the unauthorized charges made by Tomko included payments by Tomko for the Cinema Park development property taxes ($33,882 and $26,252); the payment to Tomko’s defense attorneys to represent him in a criminal case ($8,700, $6,000 and $5,500);  the payment of  $10,000 to a physician for a medical procedure for Tomko; and numerous payments to Tomko as Dr. Paul Tomko.  In the wire fraud charge, Tomko also used email communication to set up an unauthorized account, through JMS Services, to defraud Balboa Capital, an equipment leasing company in California, out of approximate $13,247, according to the indictment.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors
unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christian H. Stickan and Christos N. Georgalis following investigation by the FBI, Cleveland Office.

Press Release Number: 
Updated March 19, 2015