Miami-Dade County Residents Sentenced in Stolen Identity Unemployment Insurance Fraud and Social Security Fraud Scheme
Miami brothers Ronet Blanc, 24, and Renet Blanc, 20, were sentenced yesterday to 94 months imprisonment and 82 months imprisonment, respectively, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for filing fraudulent unemployment insurance and Social Security claims using stolen identities.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Rafiq Ahmad, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG), Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, Margaret Moore-Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG), Ronald J. Verrochio, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Miami Division, Alysa D. Erichs, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Neil Melofchik, Acting Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service (USSS), Yukima Everett, Manager, Enforcement Section, Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, and J. Scott Dennis, Chief, North Miami Beach Police Department (NMBPD), made the announcement.
According to court records, Ronet and Renet Blanc were involved in a scheme that utilized the stolen identities of Michigan and Florida residents to file fraudulent unemployment insurance claims in both of those states. The State of Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency then sent unemployment payments, by direct deposit, to bank accounts controlled by the Blancs in Florida. The Blancs were identified on bank surveillance photos withdrawing some of the unauthorized funds.
On Wednesday, March 18, 2015, officers executed a federal search warrant at the Blancs’ residence. In one bedroom, along with Renet Blanc’s personal items, law enforcement discovered numerous sheets of paper, ledgers, and other documents containing the personally identifying information (“PII”)—including names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers—of various individuals who did not appear to live at the Blancs’ residence. In particular, law enforcement discovered in excess of 50 unique sets of PII on notebook paper, W-2 employment forms, and patient records. Law enforcement also discovered a debit card Renet Blanc was captured using at the bank to withdraw fraudulent unemployment insurance funds.
In another bedroom, along with Ronet Blanc’s personal items, law enforcement discovered a laptop computer. A subsequent forensic search of the computer revealed Ronet Blanc’s resume and a spreadsheet containing the personal identification information (“PII”)—including names, dates of birth, and social security numbers—of at least 3,000 individuals, including residents of Michigan and Florida.
In addition to the fraudulent unemployment insurance claims, the Blancs filed fraudulent Social Security claims. The combined actual intended loss which resulted from the Blancs’ conduct was over $2,000,000.00.
Ronet Blanc and Renet Blanc each previously pleaded guilty to one count of using of one or more unauthorized access devices to obtain $1,000 in value or more during one calendar year, as well as one count of possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices, and one count of aggravated identity theft. U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga ordered restitution for Renet Blanc in the amount of $25,724 and Ronet Blanc in the amount of $63,366.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG), Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, SSA-OIG, USPIS, HSI, USSS, Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency and NMBPD. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ben Widlanski.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.