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Press Release

Ocoee Man Sentenced To More Than Six Years In Federal Prison For Identity Theft And Wire Fraud Scheme Targeting Elected Officials In Florida

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

Orlando, FL – U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell has sentenced Michael T. Watters (51, Ocoee) to six years and five months in federal prison for aggravated identity theft and wire fraud. Watters had pleaded guilty on July 12, 2021.

According to court documents, Watters created approximately 35 counterfeit driver licenses using the stolen identities of current or former local, state, and federal legislators. Between December 9, 2018, and May 1, 2019, Watters used those counterfeit driver licenses to successfully present approximately 265 counterfeit checks as payment at various stores in the Orlando area. When Watters presented a victim’s driver license number, he caused interstate wire communications to be transmitted from the store to a third-party payment provider to ascertain whether the driver license number previously had been associated with fraudulent payments. Watters caused total losses to the affected businesses in the amount of $53,156.43. 

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Winter Garden Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Chauncey A. Bratt.

Updated September 28, 2021

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft