Man sent to prison in passport fraud
A former Carson City resident, who used the identity of a dead man to obtain a United States passport, was sentenced Monday to prison, according to officials.
Lawrence Joseph Read, 67, currently of San Diego, was given two years in prison on a charge of aggravated identity theft, or more specifically, using a false name on a passport application, according Daniel G. Bogden, U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada.
According to court documents, on March 10, 2003, Read filed an affidavit alleging that his passport had been damaged, and submitted an application for a United States passport to the United States Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, using the name, date of birth, and Social Security number of Michael Truman Hummel.
In support of the application, Read presented a Nevada driver’s license containing his own photograph and an Incline Village address, but the name of Michael Truman Hummel, who had died in Oregon in 1996.
Read was issued a United States Passport in Hummel’s name.
On Dec. 12, 2006, Read submitted an application for “Additional Visa Pages” at the American Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, again using the name, date of birth, and Social Security number of Michael Truman Hummel. On that application, Read listed a permanent residence address and mailing address of Carson City.
Under federal law, persons who commit crimes at overseas American Embassies can be prosecuted in the federal judicial district of the person’s last known address, which in this case was the District of Nevada.
This case was investigated by the Diplomatic Security Service, the law enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of State, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brian Sullivan.
Read’s crimes were discovered in 2010 as part of “Operation Death Match,” a program of the DSS that compares passport applications with state death records.
Anyone with information about false or fraudulently issued passports is encouraged to contact DSS at 415-705-1176.㹣