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Press Release

Former Fugitive Sentenced for Failure to Appear

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Ohio

DAYTON – Lance Ealy, 29, of Dayton, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 24 months in prison for failure to appear consecutive to his underlying sentence of 124 months for access device fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and related charges.

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.

He was sentenced for the underlying charges on November 21, 2015.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, United States Marshal Peter Tobin, Guy A. Ficco, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS), and Mark Porter, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service, announced the latest sentence, which was handed down yesterday by U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Rose.

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 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.

Updated February 17, 2016