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Press Release

Federal Jury Finds Immokalee Man Guilty Of Theft Of Government Money And Aggravated Identity Theft

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Fort Myers, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury has found Ernest Freeman, Jr. guilty of 11 counts of theft of government money and 11 counts of aggravated identity theft. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison for each count of theft of government money, and a maximum penalty of two years in federal prison for each aggravated identity theft count. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 26, 2015. Freeman was indicted on June 12, 2013.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, between September 2011 and March 2012, Freeman deposited 11 federal income tax refund checks, issued in the names of other individuals, into his business account.  In doing so, he used the means of identification of other individuals to steal more than $100,000 in government money.

This case was investigated by United States Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Yolande G. Viacava.

Updated January 26, 2015