ERIE, Pa. – A resident of Smethport, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Erie on a charge of false impersonation of officer or employee of the United States, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.
The one-count Indictment named Ernest Lathrop, Sr., 59, as the sole defendant.
According to the Indictment presented to the court, on January 31, 2021, Lathrop falsely pretended to be an officer and employee of the United States in that he activated emergency lights on his vehicle at the scene of a traffic accident, and falsely stated to others at that accident that he was a United States Marshal.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 3 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The United States Marshal’s Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.