Judge Upbraids Victims In Identity TheftCase

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LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - (06/29/06) – A state judge marveled at thenaivete of the young victims in a recent identity theft scheme,then sentenced the perpetrator to a brief stay behind bars. Aftersentencing Josh Rathmell to two months to 23 months in the countyjail, Judge Michael Williamson said his options were limited by theterms of Rathmell’s plea agreement. Rathmell approachedstudents in front of the student union building at Lock HavenUniversity and asked them to cash a check for him, saying he hadforgotten his student I.D. At least 14 students got checks writtenon closed accounts at Lock Have Area FCU. The defendants/victimsdeposited the checks and withdrew cash for amounts between $160 and$200 and gave it to Rathmell. Judge Williamson took the students totask at the sentencing. “My first observation is to questionwhy 14 Lock Haven University students are so dumb they said,‘sure, let me take my money out of my MAC account and give itto you,’” he said.

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