Ocala, Florida – Senior United States District Judge John Antoon II has sentenced Josten Rakeem-Hassan Brown (28, Greenville, SC) to 20 months in federal prison for using an unauthorized access device (credit card). Two other defendants have also been sentenced in connection with the offense. Kenbee Omari Hughey (41, Detroit, MI) was sentenced in the Middle District of Florida to 15 months’ imprisonment by United States District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. Dejon Romans Brown (22, Puyallup, WA) was sentenced in the Western District of Washington by United States District Judge Robert S. Lasnik.
According to court records, all three defendants agreed to purchase electronics using fraudulent credit cards issued to them under false names on behalf of the Sumter County School District in Bushnell, Florida. A Russian citizen used a malicious software program to gain access to the district’s computer network while the students and staff were gone for the winter break in 2018. After gaining access, the intruder had credit cards issued using the district’s bank account information and sent the cards to the defendants in California, Michigan, and South Carolina. The defendants then used the credit cards to purchase tens of thousands of dollars in electronic equipment, including cellphones and tablet computers. Following the fraudulent purchases, the defendants sent the electronics to another accomplice, who then resold the items in the United States and internationally.
As a result of these actions, the Sumter County School District suffered a budget shortfall of approximately $206,000 this year. Each of the defendants were ordered to pay restitution totaling $206,094.40. Josten Brown was ordered to pay $59,153.89, Hughey was ordered to pay $88,433.97, and Dejon Brown was ordered to pay $58,506.54.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael P. Felicetta.