U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
November 30, 2012
Former Social Security Administrator Indicted on Charges of Identity Theft, Wire Fraud, Money Laundering and Tax Evasion in Alleged Fraudulent Sale of Stock Certificates
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Randolph Hurst, 49, of West Warwick R.I., a former Assistant District Manager for the Social Security Administration in Warwick, R.I., was named in an eleven-count federal indictment returned on Thursday and unsealed today in U.S. District Court, which alleges that he stole the identity of a Coventry, R.I., man, and used the victim’s identity to fraudulently sell more than $160,000 worth of stock certificates belonging to the victim. The indictment alleges that Hurst sold the stock certificates through a financial advisor in Providence and used the proceeds to pay for personal items and expenses.
The indictment charges Hurst with two counts of mail fraud; one count each of aggravated identity theft, transportation of stolen securities, money laundering, and tax evasion; and three counts of filing false tax returns.
Justin Silviera, 28, of Coventry, R.I., a relative of Hurst, is charged in the indictment with two counts of perjury. It is alleged in the indictment that on two occasions, Silviera lied to a federal grand jury which was investigation this matter.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Field Office; Nikitas T. Splagounias, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Office of the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; Scott E. Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General/Office of Investigations.
According to the indictment, in September 2010, Hurst used personal identifying information belonging to the victim to open a joint account at Summit Brokerage Services in Providence in his name and in the name of the victim, without the victim’s permission. The victim was designated as the primary account holder. According to the indictment, at the time Hurst allegedly opened the joint account, he allegedly provided documentation to Summit purportedly authored and signed by the victim, requesting the deposit of two stock certificates owned by the victim. The victim claims he never authorized the deposit of the stock certificates and that he had not endorsed the stock certificates.
The indictment alleges that on October 6, 2010, without the victim’s knowledge, Hurst requested that Summit sell the stocks. It is further alleged that on October 20, 2010, Hurst requested that Summit issue a check in his name and in the victim’s name for $157,747.49, which represented a portion of the proceeds of the sale of the stocks, and that the check be sent by overnight courier to the Coventry address of Justin Silviera. It is alleged that on October 22, 2010, the check was deposited into a bank account owned jointly by Hurst and his wife, and that Hurst did so knowing that the victim’s endorsement of the check had been forged.
The indictment further alleges that on October 22, 2010, Hurst requested a check in the amount of $3,980.46, in his name and in the victim’s name, for the remaining proceeds from the sale of the stock, and that it be sent to the same address in Coventry. On November 8, 2010, the check was deposited into a bank account owned jointly by Hurst and his wife, and that Hurst did so knowing that the victim’s endorsement of the check had been forged.
The indictment alleges that Hurst and his wife spent the proceeds of the sale of the stock, $161,727.95, on personal items and expenses.
An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Randolph Hurst was arrested this morning by federal agents and made and appeared in U.S. District Court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond. He was released on $50,000 unsecured bond. Justin Silviera will be summonsed to appear in court at a later date.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dulce Donovan.
The matter was investigated by federal agents from the FBI, U.S. Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, and Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General/Office of Investigations.
This law enforcement action is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud.
Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.