Cincinnati woman charged with crimes related to making false racial discrimination claims against landlord
DAYTON – Lance Ealy, 29, of Dayton, was convicted of three counts of failure to appear. U.S. District Court Judge Thomas M. Rose issued his verdict today after a bench trial that took place on October 22, 2015.
A jury in the Southern District of Ohio convicted Ealy in November 2014 of buying stolen identities online and using the identities to file more than 150 fraudulent federal income tax returns seeking refunds to which he was not entitled.
Ealy failed to appear for his jury trial on November 17, 18 and 19, 2014. He became a fugitive on November 15, 2014, after he removed his electronic monitoring device and fled while under bond conditions. He was recaptured in late March 2015 in Georgia.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, United States Marshal Peter Tobin, Troy N. Stemen, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS), and Mark Porter, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service, announced the verdict reached today.
According to court testimony in the jury trial, between approximately January 2013 and October 2013, Ealy electronically filed at least 150 fraudulent federal income tax returns, including returns filed using the personal information of others that he had unlawfully acquired from an illicit online source. Ealy opened dozens of bank accounts at multiple financial institutions using the names and social security numbers of other individuals – without their knowledge or permission – in order to electronically deposit the fraudulent tax refunds.
The jury convicted Ealy of 46 charges, including one count of illegally possessing 15 or more unauthorized access devices, 11 counts of filing false claims for income tax refunds with the IRS, 14 counts of wire fraud, 14 counts of aggravated identity theft, one count of mail fraud, and one count of using unauthorized access devices to obtain $1,000 or more in a one-year period. An access device includes things such as payment cards and bank account numbers used to access financial accounts.
Ealy faces up to 10 years in prison on each count of possessing 15 or more unauthorized access devices with intent to defraud and using unauthorized access devices to obtain items of $1,000 or more in value; up to five years in prison on each count of filing false claims for income tax refunds with the IRS; up to 20 years in prison on each count of wire fraud and each count of mail fraud; and mandatory two-year sentences on each count of aggravated identity theft that must run consecutive to whatever sentence may ultimately be handed down. Each count of conviction also carries a fine of up to $250,000. Ealy is scheduled to be sentenced before Judge Michael R. Barrett on November 20, 2015 for his convictions in the underlying case.
He faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison for his failure to appear convictions, which must run consecutive to the sentence of imprisonment for any other offense. Judge Rose has scheduled sentencing in Ealy’s failure to appear case for February 6, 2016.
Ealy was initially charged in a federal complaint filed on October 28, 2013 following an investigation by Secret Service agents that revealed that Ealy had purchased stolen identities from an illicit online source. A federal grand jury initially indicted Ealy in November 2013, charging him with one count of knowingly possessing 15 or more access devices with intent to defraud.
U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation of this case by the United States Marshals Service, Secret Service and IRS-Criminal Investigation agents, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alex R. Sistla and Andrew J. Hunt, who are prosecuting the case.