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Washington Man Sentenced to 90 Months for Identity Theft Scheme Spanning Idaho and Several Western States

BOISE – Ryan M. Tichy, 43, of Seattle, was sentenced to 90 months in federal prison for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announced today.

According to court records, from at least May 2018 through November 2020, Tichy executed a scheme to defraud wherein he obtained the means of identification of many individuals and used that information to create false identification documents, open credit accounts, obtain loans, takeover existing credit accounts, and make purchases. The fraudulently-obtained means of identification included names, social security numbers, dates of birth, and account numbers. After he gathered that information, Tichy would often create a fake driver’s license using his picture but the victim’s name. Tichy travelled around Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, and elsewhere to make fraudulent purchases.

When law enforcement executed a search warrant on December 2, 2020, they discovered a mobile identity theft lab inside a trailer Tichy purchased using another person’s identity. The trailer contained materials, machines, computers, and printers for use in producing counterfeit identity cards and debit/credit cards. The trailer also contained foils, blank stock for driver’s licenses, an embosser, a card punch, printers, counterfeit driver’s licenses in various stages of completion, and counterfeit credit cards.

Tichy has multiple prior convictions for identity theft-related crimes, including prior federal convictions for social security number fraud (Case No. 2:08-cr-00237-MJP) and possession of a document making implement, possession of counterfeit identification, and possession of stolen mail (Case No. 2:03-cr-00449-MJP).

“As this case shows, identify theft is a problem that can quickly cross borders and affect many communities and victims,” said U.S. Attorney Hurwit. “I am grateful for the dedicated law enforcement agents we work with who use sophisticated tools to track down these types of criminals and hold them accountable.”

“Mr. Tichy is a prolific identity thief who victimized dozens of individuals and businesses after cutting off his ankle monitor while under federal supervised release following his time spent in prison for prior identify-theft related offenses,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. “This sentence demonstrates our tireless commitment to hold those accountable for misusing Social Security numbers. I appreciate the U.S. Attorney’s Office for supporting our investigation, and I want to thank our law enforcement partners for their efforts to see justice done in this case.”

U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit credited the cooperative efforts of the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, Boise Police Department, United States Marshals Service, Meridian Police Department, Nampa Police Department, Edmonds Police Department, Island County Sheriff’s Office, Kirkland Police Department, Lynden Police Department, Marysville Police Department, Port of Portland Police Department, Redmond Police Department, Reno Police Department, Seattle Police Department, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, Spokane Police Department, and the Union Gap Police Department, which led to the charges.

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