Convicted ID thief and tax fraud, Lance Ealy caught after tweeting a taunting selfie on Twitter
Lance Ealy, a resident of Dayton, Ohio and aged 28 years had fled in November 2014 from his home confinement just prior to the final hearings on his trial. He had successfully managed to skip his electronic monitoring bracelet however prior to eloping he had posted a taunting selfie on his Twitter account. On March 18th, a Wednesday, this fugitive was apprehended by federal authorities in Atlanta.
Lance Ealy had been charged by the Federal Grand jury for 46 counts of fraudulent activity which included filing false tax returns and also buying the stolen identities.
Ealy was also involved in buying stolen Social Security Numbers and Personal information from an online fraud site Superget.info which was later known as findget.me. The online fraud site was run by a Vietnamese national Hieu Minh Ngo who had already pleaded guilty to the Secret service who had been successful in luring him out from Vietnam, he had accepted that he was responsible for running the ID theft service. Since the arrest of Ngo, U.S. authorities were working on catching hold of all the customers of Ngo. Derric Theoc from Florida was one such fraud who pleaded to guilty and was sentenced to jail of 27 months.
Lance Ealy was one of the those who was convicted during this investigation however he managed to skip justice for a while by submitting legal applications to the court which suggested that the judge has been biased and hence he requested for a retrial; not only that after he received the reply from the federal prosecutors he even delayed his response to file the motion to dismiss as their response was not as per his liking, thus he was using time to delay the verdict.
Finally just prior to the last hearing when he was waiting for the jury to return a guilty verdict, he managed to cut off his ankle electronic monitoring bracelet and successfully eloped the home confinement and also purposely posted a taunting selfie on his Twitter account as reported by security blogger Brian Krebs.
According to Krebs, Ealy continued to file fraudulent tax returns even during his escape. During his run he preferred using the contacts of his prison inmates in Ohio who allowed him to file fraud tax returns in their names instead of any online service to carry out his fraudulent activity. It seems that he paid $100 for each of them for their help with Ealy keeping the rest to himself and now the total fraud tax returns had touched to more than 150. In the meantime, U.S. Marshals service had already started a manhunt for Ealy which ultimately ended on the dawn of 11th March at Atlanta when Ealy was arrested by the U.S. Marshals service.
As per a post by the U.S. Marshals service: “The manhunt began on November 15, 2014 in Dayton, Ohio but came to abrupt end this morning in Atlanta, Georgia. After nearly 4 months of exhausted efforts and tracking Ealy through more than eight states.”
Currently Ealy is being held in the Northern District of Georgia till there is some decision regarding his deportation back to Ohio.