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Press Release

Jacksonville Pair Charged With Aggravated Identity Theft And Fraud

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

Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the return of an indictment charging Charles Cornelius Smith (35, Jacksonville) and Zipporan Carmel Peters (31, Jacksonville) with two counts of aggravated identity theft, one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and one count of false representation of a Social Security number. If convicted, each faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison for the conspiracy to commit bank fraud, up to 5 years’ imprisonment on the false representation of a Social Security number, and a 2-year mandatory minimum term of imprisonment on each aggravated identity theft count. Smith and Peters made their initial appearance in federal court today, and were detained until their arraignment hearing on September 1, 2020.    

According to the indictment, Smith obtained the personal identification information of a victim, including the name, date of birth, and Social Security number. Using this information, Smith provided Peters with a counterfeit South Carolina driver license using the identity information of the victim, but with Peters’s photo on it. Smith then drove Peters to different branches of the Navy Federal Credit Union where Peters subsequently made various fraudulent transactions, using the victim’s identity.  

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.          

This case was investigated by United States Secret Service - Jacksonville Field Office, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, the Orange Park Police Department, with assistance from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin C. Frein.

Updated August 27, 2020

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft