Indiana Man Sentenced to 12 Years for Prisoner Transportation Fraud
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Walter John Cassidy, also known as “William James Cassidy,” 54, of Florence, Indiana, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Mark E. Walker to 12 years in prison for wire fraud in connection with a scheme to obtain money by operating a private prisoner transportation business under false pretenses. The sentence was announced by Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
Between October 2010 and June 2014, Cassidy transported prisoners throughout the country as an employee and manager of United States Prisoner Extradition Service and Interstate Criminal Extraditions. In contracting with sheriffs’ offices to transport prisoners from one jurisdiction to another, including violent felons, Cassidy misrepresented the prisoners’ security and treatment and concealed material facts concerning his fitness to operate as a prisoner transport agent. Specifically, Cassidy concealed that he was on felony probation while transporting prisoners and that his conditions of probation prohibited him from associating with felons, from visiting jails, from carrying weapons, and from leaving the state of Kentucky. Additionally, during his transportation of female prisoners, Cassidy left the prisoners unrestrained, gave them drugs and alcohol, and had sex with them in his vehicle and hotel rooms. Cassidy pled guilty in September 2014.
Although Cassidy was indicted under the name of “William James Cassidy,” the identity he used in committing these offenses, Cassidy’s true name is actually Walter John Cassidy. Shortly before he was to be sentenced in this case, officials learned that Cassidy had been living under the false name of “William Cassidy” for more than 17 years. By adopting another identity, Cassidy was able to conceal his lengthy record of criminal convictions for burglary, theft, firearms, and other offenses. In addition to working as a private prisoner transport agent, Cassidy had also previously served as a constable in Gibson County, Tennessee, under the assumed identity of William Cassidy.
“Over the course of four years, the defendant defrauded sheriff’s offices who entrusted him with the security and transportation of prisoners throughout the nation, and he abused their trust by using female prisoners for his own sexual gratification,” said United States Attorney Marsh. “Today’s sentence makes clear that such abuses of power carry severe consequences.”
United States Attorney Marsh praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, and the United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force, whose joint investigation led to the charges and sentence. The case was prosecuted by Criminal Chief Karen Rhew-Miller.
The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. The office strives to protect and serve the citizens of the Northern District of Florida through the ethical, vigorous, and impartial enforcement of the laws of the United States, to defend the national security, to improve the safety and quality of life in our communities through the protection of civil rights, and to protect the public funds and financial assets of the United States. To access available public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.