A man accused of stealing
Will Smith’s identity was sentenced to two years in prison today (Dec. 27).
Carlos Lomax, 45, was convicted of fraudulently opening and
charging over $33,000 with 14 phony accounts at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area
stores in Will Smith’s legal name, Willard C. Smith.
Lomax pleaded guilty in September of 2002 to a charge of “use
of an unauthorized access device."
He was already on probation after serving time for stealing
the identity of former Atlanta Hawks basketball player Steve Smith and running
up over $80,000 on fraudulent American Express cards.
Prosecutors said Lomax has failed to be rehabilitated and has
not paid back court ordered restitution to tune of $190,000.
A judge ordered the man to pay another $64,000 for purchases
made in Smith’s name and purchases made in the name of another unidentified
In December of 2003, Lomax agreed to be taped to explain how
he stole Smith’s identity to a Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations,
which was seeking ways to combat thieves from stealing other people’s
"You get somebody with a common name that you think has
good credit or a lot of money," Lomax explained shortly after being arrested.
"Willard Smith, you would never think was Will Smith until this happened.
When I got his credit report, I couldn't believe it."
Lomax said he made the illegal purchases over the course of
15 days. He was busted when Smith’s business manager noticed his client
was billed almost $6,000 worth of merchandise from a Sears account in Pittsburgh.
Federal authorities tracked the expenses to Lomax, who was using
his own Pittsburgh home address, but was using Smith’s name.
According to statistics
from a Federal Trade Commission report, by the end of 2005 total worldwide losses
due to identity theft could reach $2 trillion dollars.