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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Jacksonville Man Sentenced To Federal Prison For Stealing His Twin’s Identity To Obtain Veterans Benefits

Jacksonville, Florida – U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan today sentenced Wayne Bowen (64, Jacksonville) to two years in federal prison for aggravated identity theft. The Court also ordered Bowen to reimburse various federal agencies a total of $63,773 for government benefits that he had received in connection with his identity theft scheme. Bowen had pleaded guilty on January 20, 2022.

According to court documents, in 2014, Bowen used the name, Social Security card, and military discharge papers of his estranged twin brother to apply for federally subsidized housing benefits. The specific subsidy – intended for indigent military veterans – was funded under a joint program administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Unlike his twin, Bowen is not a military veteran.

When interviewed by federal agents, Bowen admitted that he had been using his twin brother’s identity for years. He had obtained a Florida identification card using his twin’s name and had been arrested and convicted of felony offenses under his twin’s identity. Although Bowen initially told the agents that he, like his twin, had served and been honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, Bowen eventually relented and admitted that those were lies.

Due to Bowen’s fraudulent use of his twin’s identity, the VA provided him with $32,434 in medical services, HUD provided him with $18,905 in housing subsidies, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture funded $12,434 in nutritional benefits for him. Bowen’s twin has confirmed that he did not apply for any of these benefits and that he never gave Bowen permission to use his name.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture –  Office of Inspector General. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Coolican.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Component(s): 
Updated April 26, 2022