Altoona man sentenced for $1.2 million fraud scheme and failing to pay taxes


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Date: July 1, 2021


Pittsburgh, PA — A resident of Blair County, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced to 33 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release on charges of tax evasion and wire fraud, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon imposed the sentence on Patrick S. LaMarsh of Altoona, Pennsylvania.

The government represented to the court that between 2011 and 2013, LaMarsh defrauded TracFone and Walmart by selling fraudulently obtained Straight Talk airtime cards on LaMarsh fraudulently re-encoded Straight Talk prepaid wireless cards and sold them for a discount, netting approximately $1.2 million in proceeds. LaMarsh used the proceeds to buy precious metals and a recreational vehicle. In addition, LaMarsh deposited proceeds into nominee bank accounts to conceal income.

Assistant United States Attorney Gregory C. Melucci prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

The Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and United States Secret Service conducted the investigation leading to the prosecution of LaMarsh.