Orlando Man Convicted, Two More Plead Guilty For Scheme Involving Impersonation Of Homeland Security Agents
Orlando, Florida – A federal jury has found Jean David Jules (33, citizen of Haiti) guilty of two counts of aiding and abetting wire fraud. Three co-defendants, Donte Sherrick Harris (30, Kissimmee), Jason Tyiwuan Green (22, Orlando), and Jonathan Wayne Thorne (27, Kissimmee), previously pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting wire fraud. In addition, six others have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud related to the same fraud scheme.
According to court documents, from at least August 2015 through June 2017, Jules and others participated in a criminal organization that gained money from victims by impersonating agents with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and/or the Cyber Crimes Center (C3). The scheme began with the defendants placing fraudulent posts on adult dating websites, claiming to be a “nerdy girl seeking nerdy guy.” When a victim responded to a fraudulent ad, a defendant continued to pretend he was a female seeking companionship. Days later, a defendant would contact the victim and pretend to be a federal agent assigned to the “C3 Child Exploitation Division” or other components of DHS. The defendant then would accuse the victim of soliciting a minor on the internet and falsely claim that there were outstanding warrants for the victim’s arrest.
The defendants used fraudulent email addresses that appeared to be from law enforcement agencies, or phone applications disguised as law enforcement phone numbers. They told their victims that they could pay a “fine” or “fees” so that the purported warrants could be “purged” or “cleared.” Victims were directed to wire funds, in the names of the defendants or their aliases, to the purported “agents” using a money service business. Many sent multiple extortion payments, ranging from $200 to $1,900 each. Law enforcement estimates that the scheme resulted in at least $311,000 in profits.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Office of Professional Responsibility, and Homeland Security Investigations (San Diego), with assistance from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (San Diego), and the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Brandon Bayliss, on assignment from the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, ICE. Assistant United States Attorney Emily Chang assisted with the prosecution.