Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. has sentenced Rohan Brown (41, Sanford) to four years and three months in federal prison for mail fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identify theft related to his participation in two fraud schemes.
Brown had pleaded guilty on July 3, 2018. On September 10, 2018, he failed to appear for his sentencing hearing and absconded to Jamaica. He later self-surrendered to the U.S. Marshals Service.
According to court documents, between March 2014 and August 2016, Brown participated in two fraud schemes. He participated in a sweepstakes fraud scheme in which elderly victims were told they had won a sweepstakes but, in order to receive their winnings, they had to send money for “taxes” to Brown. In a second scheme, Social Security benefits were diverted into accounts opened in the name of multiple victims and sent to Brown’s address. Once Brown received the fraudulent debit cards for those accounts, he used them to purchase money orders or obtain cash. Brown’s specific role in both schemes was to receive mail containing victims’ money or fraudulent access devices (debit cards) loaded with Social Security benefits and, in turn, send a portion of the money to others in Jamaica. The cash and debit cards were sent to Brown’s home or another residence to which he had access.
During a search of Brown’s residence, law enforcement officers recovered documentation for fraudulent bank accounts and debit cards that had been opened in the names of multiple victims. As a result of the diversion scheme, the Social Security Administration suffered a loss of $135,377.80. Losses related to the sweepstakes scheme are still pending.
This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Social Security Administration – Office of the Inspector General, the Seminole County Financial Crimes Task Force, with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sean P. Shecter.