Seattle man pleads guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft
BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) – A Seattle man pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
According to court records, from at least May 2018 through November 2020, Ryan M. Tichy, 42, 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 is scheduled to be sentenced on June 21, 2022, and faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in federal prison for wire fraud and a mandatory minimum of two years for aggravated identity theft. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
“This guilty plea reflects hard work by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and investigators to hold Mr. Tichy accountable for this widespread fraud that affected so many victims, who had their identities brazenly stolen,” said U.S. Attorney Rafael M. Gonzalez, Jr. “This office will continue to work tirelessly to uphold the integrity of the Social Security programs and protect the identities of our citizens. I applaud the work of our investigating partners in shutting down this stolen identity mill,” he concluded.
“This case results from collaborative law enforcement efforts to bring Mr. Tichy to account for his criminal offenses. He misused Social Security numbers and the identifiers of others for his personal gain, causing financial losses to individuals and businesses,” said Christian Assaad, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, Seattle Field Division. “I thank our law enforcement partners for their work in this investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecuting this case.”
U.S. Attorney Gonzalez commended the cooperative efforts of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, the Boise Police Department, the United States Marshals Service, the Meridian Police Department, the Nampa Police Department, the Edmonds Police Department, the Island County Sheriff’s Office, the Kirkland Police Department, the Lynden Police Department, the Marysville Police Department, the Port of Portland Police Department, the Redmond Police Department, the Reno Police Department, the Seattle Police Department, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, the Spokane Police Department, the Union Gap Police Department and United States Probation and Pretrial Services in the Western District of Washington, which led to charges.