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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Orlando Man Convicted On Multiple Fraud And Theft Charges

Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces today that a federal jury found Joseph Witchard (55, Orlando) guilty of nine counts of mail fraud, six counts of filing false claims against the United States, six counts of theft of government property, and nine counts of aggravated identity theft. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each mail fraud count, 5 years’ imprisonment on each false claims count, 10 years in prison on each of the theft of government property counts, and an additional 2 years’ imprisonment for the aggravated identity theft charges. A sentencing hearing is set for January 26, 2015.

According to evidence presented at trial, Witchard orchestrated two mail fraud schemes, one to steal retirement funds and life insurance proceeds, and another to file fraudulent tax returns. During both schemes, he used identities that had been stolen from a variety of sources. The personal identifying information of more than 60 victims was found during a search of Witchard’s residence in February 2010. Witchard, and others, negotiated the retirement, life insurance, and tax refund checks at local businesses, including car dealerships.

This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, IRS - Criminal Investigation, and the United States Secret Service.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney E. Jackson Boggs, Jr.

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Updated January 26, 2015