Four Indicted For Defrauding Federal Program Intended For Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses In Connection With A Construction Contract For Cancer Treatment Center At Bay Pines VA Medical Center
Tampa, Florida – United States District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich has sentenced Nejah Prince (33, Tampa) to four years and nine months in federal prison for access device (credit card) fraud and for filing false claims against the United States. As part of Prince’s sentence, the court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $1,386.39, the proceeds of the fraud. Prince pleaded guilty on February 16, 2017.
According to court documents, in February 2013, officers from the Tampa Police Department executed a search warrant at Prince’s home. During the search, they found copies of confidential patient medical records from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), notebooks with the personal identifying information of at least 200 individuals, reloadable debit cards, and several tax returns. Further investigation revealed that Prince had used the identity of one person whose name was on a VA medical record to open a credit account at Montgomery Ward. She then made $1,300 in purchases using that account. In addition, IRS agents discovered that many of the identities found during the search warrant had been used in the filing of false and fraudulent income tax returns.
“Working together with our law enforcement partners we have come a long way in the effort to eradicate identity theft from our community. Would-be identity thieves should not rest easy because we will not give up the fight,” said Special Agent in Charge Mary Hammond of IRS Criminal Investigation. “These crooks use stolen identities to defraud the government, but it is the untold devastation their actions inflict on the lives of their victims that drives our Special Agents to employ their unique financial expertise to tirelessly track down these criminals.”
This case was investigated by the IRS - Criminal Investigation and the Tampa Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sara C. Sweeney and Jay L. Hoffer.