For the next three years, a Pennsylvania man who claimed to be Will Smith and charged almost $33,000 in the rapper/actor's name will be gettin' jiggy behind bars.
Carlos Lomax pleaded guilty to one count of using unauthorized credit cards in September, and on Thursday a judge sentenced the 42-year-old to 37 months in federal prison. The maximum sentence he could have faced was 20 years in jail and a fine of $250,000.
Federal prosecutors proved that Lomax opened 14 credit accounts under Smith's real name, Willard C. Smith, at department and specialty stores in the Pittsburgh area. Fraudulent charges totaling $32,897.34 were placed at 12 of the stores, reported The Washington Post.
Smith's business manager contacted federal officials earlier this year after finding $5,447 in charges to Smith on a Sears card. The mailing address on the account was tracked to the home of Lomax, where investigators found sales receipts and other documents in the rapper's name. They also found evidence that Lomax had used his home computer to search the Web for personal information on numerous musicians, actors and athletes.
At the time of his arrest Lomax was on probation for pulling a similar ruse in 1999 with Atlanta Hawks guard Steve Smith, who was the victim of $81,000 of credit-card fraud. For that stunt, Lomax received two years in prison, three years of probation and was ordered to pay more than $270,000 to the credit-card companies he scammed.
Senior U.S. District Judge Alan N. Bloch ordered Lomax to pay more than $64,000 this time to cover the charges in Smith's name, and to another unnamed public figure also targeted by Lomax.