Altoona man sentenced in federal court
LaMarsh faces 33 months in prison for wire fraud, tax evasion
PITTSBURGH — A city man 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 Thursday.
United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon imposed the sentence on Patrick S. LaMarsh, 42, of Altoona. 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 Amazon.com.
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 Investigations and United States Secret Service conducted the investigation leading to the prosecution of LaMarsh.