GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — Tracy Lee Rudisel, 49, originally from Colorado but who resided in Holland, Michigan, in 2013 and 2014, was sentenced to 39 months’ imprisonment today by U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney for identity theft and possession of stolen mail. The identity theft conviction resulted in a two-year mandatory minimum sentence to be served after Rudisel’s 15 months’ imprisonment for his possession of stolen mail. In pronouncing the sentence, Judge Maloney noted that identity theft remains a serious problem throughout our district, as well as across the country.
Rudisel resided in Colorado for most of his adult life before moving to Michigan in order to live with a woman he met over the internet and to evade warrants for his arrest in Colorado. After arriving in Michigan, Rudisel stole the social security account number of another individual and obtained employment and an apartment in that individual’s name. Over the next several months, Rudisel repeatedly stole the mail of Holland area residents from post-office boxes on the north-side of Holland. Rudisel’s mail theft focused upon residents’ bank statements, bank checks, driver’s licenses, investment accounts, and other mail containing personal identifying information. At the time of his arrest, Rudisel possessed the Michigan driver’s license of several different individuals, as well as information about how to make fraudulent driver’s licenses and other fraudulent identification documents.
“Unfortunately, identity theft continues to be a common offense in our digital age. My office will vigorously prosecute those who commit identity theft and cause innocent victims to suffer serious, and sometimes long-lasting, effects on their financial and personal lives,” said U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr. “This case is especially troubling given the large-scale mail theft that went along with Rudisel’s intent to commit identity theft against many victims for his own gain. As in this case, we will continue to seek mandatory two-year minimum sentences, consecutive to any sentence for other criminal conduct, to deter others from committing identity theft against the citizens of this district.”
“I applaud the interagency cooperation and the expeditious prosecution,” said E.C. Woodson, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service. “Rudisel targeted communities in Colorado and Michigan and will now answer for his conduct. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service will continue to vigorously investigate acts of identity theft. We urge all citizens to review their credit reports and report incidences of identity theft immediately.”
The investigation of this case was handled by the Holland Police Department and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald M. Stella.