A man convicted of crimes stemming from filing more than 150 bogus federal tax returns using stolen IDs was arrested in College Park early Wednesday after several months on the lam with his father, an eccentric Ohio gubernatorial candidate, authorities said.
Lance Ealy, of Dayton, Ohio, was picked up in what a U.S. Marshal’s Service spokesman described as a townhouse that the 28-year-old had been renting for weeks. Previously he had been laying low in Atlanta-area hotels using aliases, the spokesman said.
His father, Larry Ealy, is a former truck driver who ran for governor last year. The elder Ealy, still a fugitive, once told reporters he was a professional stripper. He’s wanted for both helping hide his son and seperate drug and traffic warrants.
According to cybersecurity blog KrebsOnSecurity and a federal indictment:
Between January and July 2013, Lance Ealy purchased social security numbers and other private information from a now-defunct, Vietnamese-based service called Superget.info — which obtained that information from legitimate data brokers.
Lance Ealy then set up bank accounts in other people’s names. Eventually, he deposited his victims’ tax refunds into those accounts.
In Georgia, U.S. Marshals caught up with Lance Ealy after a four-month search through at least six states. The effort involved Marshals in Ohio and Georgia; the IRS; and the U.S. Secret Service.
“We believe he actually felt comfortable enough to where he was using an alias to rent the apartment,” Deputy U.S. Marshal Nate Lupica said. “He was using an alias to rent the apartment and he was actually paying the bills.”
Marshals broke down the door about 2 a.m. and arrested Lance Ealy after he fled upstairs and frantically made phone calls, Lupica said.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.