Bangor woman gets three years in identity theft

Posted June 25, 2009, at 8:39 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — She stole the identity of the nation’s highest-ranking female U.S. Coast Guard official, and now she will pay the highest penalty.

Mary L. Landry, 43, of Bangor was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court to three years and four months in federal prison. She was convicted by a jury in January of stealing the identity of Rear Adm. Mary E. Landry of Washington, D.C., and using it to obtain credit cards.

The women are not related.

Landry, a former employee of FairPoint Communications, showed little emotion until U.S. District Judge John Woodcock informed her that she would begin serving her sentence immediately. She had been free on $5,000 unsecured bail since her arraignment in October.

Woodcock also sentenced her to three years of supervised release after Landry completes her prison term. The judge ordered Landry to pay a $3,600 fine and to pay restitution of more than $5,000.

In imposing the sentence, Woodcock reprimanded Landry for her apparent lack of remorse and refusal to admit guilt.

“When the true culprit of this type of crime is revealed and sits before me, as she does today, the full might of the federal law will come down hard,” the judge told Landry.

Woodcock cited the need to punish Landry for her crimes and to deter future identity thieves.

“You certainly picked the wrong target for your crime,” he said.

“Your attack on her credit turned out to be a matter of national security. Not all ID thieves are that unlucky,” the judge added.

As a requirement of her “top-secret” security clearance, Adm. Landry, the Coast Guard’s director of governmental and public affairs, is required to have no bad debt.

Mary Landry was convicted on Jan. 29 of nine federal felonies: three counts of wire fraud, one count of fraud in connection with an access device, three counts of aggravated identity theft, and two counts of Social Security fraud.

The jury found that Landry used her position at FairPoint, then Verizon, to obtain Adm. Landry’s Social Security number to take out three credit cards, two of which were denied because of discrepancies in personal information she provided to the companies.

At the time the ID theft was discovered and the card canceled, Landry had charged $4,500 on the Chase Bank Visa card. She made two payments on the card, which Assistant U.S. Attorney James Moore told the judge was merely an attempt to establish a higher line of credit.

Adm. Landry testified in January that she learned in the summer of 2007 that her identity might have been stolen when she received a letter from Discover saying that someone had tried to take a card out in her name.

Mary Landry faced a mandatory minimum sentence of two years on the aggravated identity theft and additional time in prison on the other charges. She faced up to 20 years on the wire fraud charges alone.

Moore urged Woodcock to sentence Landry to 46 months, more than the 34 to 40 months recommended under the federal sentencing guidelines.

Landry’s attorney, Jon Haddow of Bangor, asked the judge to sentence his client at the low end of the guideline range.

Haddow said after the sentencing that his client most likely would have been sentenced to two years in prison if she had pleaded guilty instead of going to trial. He also said he would appeal the conviction and sentence to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

Conditions of Landry’s supervised release include her not having a credit card without the permission of her probation officer.

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