Smith Identity Thief Sent Back to Prison
Thursday, December 29th 2005, 10:03 am
By: News On 6
PITTSBURGH (AP) _ A man who stole Will Smith's identity to run up credit-card debts is going back to prison for two years for violating probation, a judge has ruled.
Judge Alan N. Bloch concluded Tuesday that Carlos Lomax, 45, formerly of Duquesne, was ``not amenable'' to probation, according to defense lawyer Mark Lancaster.
Lomax failed to rehabilitate himself and make restitution to his victims while on supervised release, U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan said.
He was sentenced to 37 months in prison _ later reduced to 30 months _ after pleading guilty to opening 14 bogus credit accounts at Pittsburgh-area stores using the identity of Willard C. Smith, the legal name of the rapper-turned-actor. Lomax was released from a halfway house in June.
Lomax has an earlier identity-theft conviction involving former Atlanta Hawks basketball player Steve Smith, now a TV commentator for the team.
Lomax was on probation after serving time for that crime _ he ran up $81,000 on an American Express card in the basketball player's name _ when he was arrested in the Will Smith case.
A federal judge had ordered Lomax to repay American Express, plus another $190,000 to other companies whose credit he fraudulently obtained. That money has gone unpaid, Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret Picking said.
Lomax obtained court permission to move to Atlanta in August, but federal probation officials there refused to supervise him, Lancaster said.
When Lomax did not return to western Pennsylvania this fall, federal probation officials in Pittsburgh obtained an arrest warrant for him.
Lancaster argued Tuesday that Lomax was working in Atlanta and planned to repay more than $64,000 he owes to credit-card companies and other victims.
Lomax charged nearly $33,000 on accounts he opened in Will Smith's name.
Bloch ordered Lomax to pay about $64,000, a sum that includes purchases Lomax made using Smith's name and that of a retired, unidentified pro football player.
Smith appeared in TV's ``The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'' and in the films ``Independence Day,'' the ``Men in Black'' movies and ``Ali.''