Macon – A 50-year-old Macon man was sentenced to prison this week after he pleaded guilty to using someone else’s identity to buy a car and a lawnmower, rent a trailer and open accounts at Verizon and Best Buy.
Larry Vernon Bates Jr. pleaded guilty to eight counts of identity fraud, four counts of forgery and three counts of theft by deception during a hearing in Bibb County Superior Court on Wednesday. A judge sentenced him to 20 years, with the first 10 years to be served in prison.
Bates must also pay restitution to the victim for any costs associated with the fraud.
If the case had gone to trial, prosecutor Kyle Owenby would have presented evidence showing:
In January 2018, Bates used another man’s name, driver’s license information, insurance information and other identifying data to make a series of purchases without his consent. He also signed the man’s name on documents without his consent.
The fraud was discovered when the victim checked his credit report, found purchases he didn’t make and disputed the charges. Serial numbers for the fraudulently purchased items were later matched to online ads seeking to sell the items.
Speaking after the hearing, District Attorney David Cooke said, “Mr. Bates thought he would be living the high life on someone else’s money. Now he’s going away for 10 years, but it won’t be to a life of luxury.”
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Contact: Amy Leigh Womack