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Press Release

Retired Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Corrections Officer Arrested For His Involvement In Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Scheme

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

Jacksonville, FL – Acting United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the return of an indictment and arrest charging Harold B. Walbey, III (45, Jacksonville) with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum penalty of 22 years in federal prison. 

Walbey was arraigned in federal court on December 12, 2013. He pleaded not guilty and was released on bond. A status conference hearing is scheduled for January 21, 2014.

According to the indictment, Harold B. Walbey, III worked as a corrections officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, at the John E. Goode Pretrial Detention Facility.  While working in this capacity, he stole personal identifying information, including the names and social security numbers, of multiple inmates who were housed at the facility.  From 2010 through May 2012, Walbey used this information to electronically file numerous fraudulent tax returns and open pre-paid debit card accounts with various financial institutions.  The tax refunds were then directly deposited into the pre-paid debit card accounts that were created in specific inmates’ names. 

“The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office investigates all allegations of criminal activity that may involve our employees. In this case our investigators from the Integrity/Special Investigations Unit, working with our federal agency partners, effected two arrests - Mr. Walbey and his daughter, Tianna Walbey, who was arrested in February on federal charges in this same crime,” said  Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Malisa Chokshi.

Click HERE to view Indictment

Updated January 26, 2015