Oregon man sentenced in ID theft ring that hit Valley - East Valley Tribune: Public Safety

Oregon man sentenced in ID theft ring that hit Valley

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Posted: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 12:25 pm | Updated: 12:01 am, Fri Sep 17, 2010.

A 37-year-old Portland, Ore., man who worked under the name of Tony Montana from the 1983 Al Pacino movie “Scarface” was sentenced to 97 months of federal prison for his role in a coast-to-coast identity theft spree that affected businesses in Tempe, Scottsdale and Phoenix.

Antoine Lawrence was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland on counts of bank fraud and commercial burglaries he said he committed between 2001 and 2007. As part of the sentencing, a judge ordered Lawrence to pay $700,000 in restitution to the victims, according to information from the Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service.

Lawrence and a group of other thieves targeted major cities across the U.S. to commit commercial burglaries where they broke into businesses, stole peoples’ personal information and made fake identifications and checks to gain access to their bank accounts. After cashing checks of up to $50,000, Lawrence and some of his accomplices purchased Rolex watches, designer clothes and high-end electronics, according to the Department of Justice.

It was not immediately known how many people overall were affected by the crimes, according to IRS criminal division agent Dan Wardlaw.

Upon his release from prison, Lawrence also will be on five years supervised probation.

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