Former Miami-Dade Police Department Officer Convicted of Wire Fraud
Following an eight-day trial, a jury before United States District Judge Jose E. Martinez convicted Rafael Duran, a former police officer with the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and seven counts of wire fraud. Duran had been employed as an officer with the MDPD from May 1994 until March 2016, when the MDPD terminated him following his 2015 indictment in this case.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Juan J. Perez, Director of the MDPD, made the announcement.
Duran’s offenses arose out of his use of his position as an officer with the MDPD to facilitate a fraud scheme operating out of a local credit repair company. The credit repair company would attempt to repair the credit histories and credit scores of its customers by making false claims to the major credit reporting bureaus that its customers had been victims of identity theft.
In 2010, Duran was assigned to as a detective on the MDPD’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force, which was part of the Economic Crimes Bureau. The evidence at trial showed that between April 2010 and June 2010, Duran wrote 10 offense-incident reports in which he falsely claimed that customers of the credit repair company had reported to him that they had been victims of identity theft. However, the customers never made the reports, and Duran never met with them. Moreover, the alleged victims in the reports written by Duran had not been victims of identity theft. Duran also wrote a false identity theft report for an employee of the credit repair company.
After completing the false police reports, Duran delivered them to the credit repair company, which sent them to the major credit reporting bureaus, along with letters that mirrored the false claims in Duran’s police reports. As a result of Duran’s false police reports, several customers of the credit repair companies obtained commercial lines of credit which subsequently went into default.
Duran also falsified identity theft reports for both himself and a family member. However, Duran put those reports in the name of a fellow detective without telling the detective. Duran delivered the reports to the credit repair company so that it could attempt to remove derogatory items from their credit histories through false claims of identity theft.
Duran had the credit repair company use the false police report in his name to try to remove from his credit repair history a $210,000 mortgage on a condominium in Naples, FL. The mortgage had not been the product of any identity theft. Rather, Duran had taken out the mortgage in June 2007 and stopped making payments on the mortgage sometime in 2008.
Following the verdict, the Court revoked the defendant’s bond and remanded him into custody. The Court set Duran’s sentencing for July 26, 2016, at 1:30 pm. Duran faces a maximum sentence per count of twenty years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
Mr. Ferrer expressed appreciation for the investigative efforts of the FBI Miami Area Public Corruption Task Force and the Professional Compliance Bureau of the Miami-Dade Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Davis and Ilham Hosseini.