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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Over 100 Defendants Charged in Government Impersonation, Fraud, and Theft Schemes Involving Tens of Thousands of Stolen Personal Identities

     Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Miami Field Office, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, Miami Field Office Juan P. Perez, Director, Miami Dade Police Department (MDPD), Timothy Camus, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), Rafiq Ahmad, Special Agent in Charge, United States Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Miami Field Office (DOL-OIG), Mark Selby, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Brian Swain, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service (USSS), Miami Field Office, Antonio J. Gomez, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Miami Division, and Margaret Moore-Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG) announce the filing of federal charges against more than 100 defendants in 81 separate cases, dealing with over 30,000 stolen identities and the intended theft of over $60 million dollars from individuals, businesses and government agencies through fraudulent schemes.

     In August 2012, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, with the collaboration of our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, established the South Florida Identity Theft Refund Fraud Strike Force (Strike Force) to combat an increase in stolen identity tax refund scams. The collective efforts of the Strike Force resulted in the successful prosecution of countless stolen identity tax refund cases. However, while the wave of these pernicious offenses subsided, evolving fraud schemes have spread across South Florida. No longer limited to stolen identity tax refund fraud, the Strike Force, now Stolen Identity Fraud (SIF) Strike Force is investigating and prosecuting a variety of cases stemming from stolen personal identifying information (PII). These cases include intrusion into proprietary government databases; theft of customer account information; takeovers by identity thieves of accounts as diverse as U.S. Social Security and unemployment benefits, retail credit card accounts, and bank accounts; and the use of skimmers to steal valuable PII. These cases demonstrate that law enforcement in general and the Strike Force in particular continue to adapt to meet this insidious identity theft threat.

Since the inception of the Strike Force in 2012, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has charged more than 600 defendants, who were responsible for over $400 million in intended losses.

“Law enforcement will not stand by as criminals attempt to disrupt our lives, steal our savings, ravage our credit, and compromise our government benefit programs through calculated and pervasive fraud schemes,” stated U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer. “Today’s announcement demonstrates that the collective response by our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners has had a profound impact on protecting the community from identity theft.”

“I urge everyone to take steps to protect their personally identifiable information (PII) from criminals who seek illicit profits through stolen identity fraud,” said George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami. “Learn how you can protect your PII at FBI.GOV or FTC.GOV. The FBI and our partners continue to actively target these fraudsters who victimize hard-working taxpayers.”

     Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), stated, “Today’s announcement reinforces law enforcement’s continued commitment to combat identity theft in South Florida. As an agency, the IRS has made remarkable progress in its efforts to protect taxpayers, and we are focused on strengthening our systems and processes even more for this 2017 tax season. I urge taxpayers to protect their personal information and remain vigilant when choosing a return preparer. Beware of return preparers who claim they can get you a ‘higher’ refund then another preparer and those that set their fee based on a percentage of your refund. Ultimately, the taxpayer is responsible for what is filed with the IRS, so choose wisely. IRS-CI will continue to investigate significant Stolen Identity Refund Fraud (SIRF) schemes and egregious tax return preparers, and will collaborate with other federal agencies and IRS civil divisions to stop these thieves in their tracks.”

“The DOL-OIG is committed to working with our Identity Theft Strike Force partners to combat identity theft in the Southern District of Florida and safeguard the Nation's Unemployment Insurance program for those who seek relief from the financial impact of being unemployed,” stated Rafiq Ahmad, Special Agent in Charge, Atlanta Region, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General.

"The impersonation of IRS employees continues to represent a serious threat to taxpayers and to the integrity of tax administration,” said Timothy P. Camus, Deputy Inspector General for the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). “We are extremely grateful to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami and their counterparts around the country for their excellent teamwork, collaboration, and support of our efforts on such cases. As these cases show, TIGTA agents continue to relentlessly pursue investigations of individuals who engage in this fraudulent activity and aggressively refer them for criminal prosecution.”

“These arrests are a reflection of the success that comes when federal, state and local law enforcement agencies work together to target criminal organizations and individuals in South Florida,” said Mark Selby, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Miami. “At HSI we will continue to aggressively investigate fraudulent financial schemes that put in jeopardy the integrity of our financial system and are often a gateway to further criminal activity.”

Antonio J. Gomez, Postal Inspector in Charge of the Miami Division stated, “The arrests of these individuals should serve as reassurance to our customers that the U.S. Postal Service remains one of the safest and securest ways of conducting both personal and private business and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service will stop at nothing to bring these criminals to account. Postal Inspectors will continue to partner with our federal and local law enforcement partners to aggressively investigate these types of crimes.”

Today’s Strike Force announcement reaffirms the collective joint federal, state and local commitment to the prosecution of perpetrators who steal, sell and use personal identification information to commit identity theft fraud schemes. The cases brought under the Strike Force operation, from October 2016 to the present day, include:

IRS IMPERSONATORS

United States v. Abhijeetsinh Jadeja and Rachel Jean Roragen, Case No. 17-CR-20085-Martinez

On January 27, 2017, Abhijeetsinh Jadeja, 29, of Miami, and, Rachel Jean Roragen, 41, of Miami Beach, were charged in a twelve-count indictment with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, possessing fifteen or more unauthorized access devices and aggravated identity theft.

to allegations contained in the indictment, between January 2014 and March 2016, Jadeja and Roragen’s co-conspirators impersonated officials from the IRS and other agencies during telephone calls in which they falsely represented to individual victims that they owed money to the IRS or fees on loans or grants. To satisfy their alleged debts, victims were fraudulently induced to send payments to bank accounts and debit cards under the control of Jadeja, Roragen and their conspirators.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the TIGTA, ICE-HSI, IRS-CI, and the Miami Beach Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daya Nathan.

United States v. Andre Oakley Wellington, Case No. 17-CR-60027-Dimitrouleas

On January 27, 2017, Andre Oakley Wellington, 37, of Coral Springs, was charged in a two-count indictment for participating in a conspiracy to commit mail fraud and mail fraud.

According to the allegations contained in the criminal complaint and indictment, beginning in July of 2016 and ending in January 2017, Wellington’s conspirators impersonated IRS employees during telephone calls in which they falsely represented to an individual victim that he/she owed money to the IRS. Wellington’s conspirators fraudulently induced the victim to send payments via private and commercial mail carriers to addresses located throughout the United States, in order to satisfy the alleged IRS debt. In addition, Wellington’s co-conspirators demanded that the victim send a package containing $25,000 to Wellington’s address in Coral Springs. The conspirators provided Wellington with the FedEx tracking number, which the defendant used to track the package’s arrival. The package was delivered to Wellington’s residence, and was then recovered by TIGTA Special Agents. In total, Wellington and his co-conspirators fraudulently obtained over $550,000 from the victim.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of TIGTA and IRS-CI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. Marcet.

TAX REFUND FRAUD

United States v. Silvio Galvez, Case No. 16-CR-20016-Middlebrooks

On January 20, 2017, Silvio Galvez, 30, of Miami, was arrested on a criminal complaint and is charged by indictment for his alleged involvement in a $50 million stolen identity refund fraud scheme involving the cashing of fraudulently obtained large-dollar tax refund checks. Galvez was charged with conspiracy to commit theft of government money, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, theft of government money, and aggravated identity theft.

to allegations in the criminal complaint, Galvez was a leader in a conspiracy involving the filing of over $50 million in large tax refund claims — each claim ranging from approximately $130,000 to $170,000 — in 2013 and 2014. These fraudulent refund requests were submitted to the IRS for payment using stolen identity information. The tax refunds contained the same set of repeated addresses, including the defendant’s address. The IRS paid out at least $4.3 million via U.S. Treasury checks mailed to the addresses listed on the returns. Galvez directed individuals to deposit these fraudulently obtained tax refunds and other fraudulently obtained checks at a bank in Miami. Galvez separately directed a bank employee to open up accounts using stolen identity information so that fraudulently obtained tax refund checks could be deposited. Finally, Galvez directed the bank employee to obtain account information for accounts with substantial funds, in order to conduct account takeovers.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of IRS-CI, FBI and ICE-HSI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael N. Berger.

United States v. Evelina Sophia Reid, Case No. 17-CR-20057-Williams

On January 26, 2017, Evelina Sophia Reid, 35, of Miami Gardens, was charged in a fourteen-count indictment with conspiracy to commit access device fraud, possessing fifteen or more unauthorized access devices, aggravated identity theft, and computer fraud.

According to the indictment and publicly available documents, Reid was an employee of Jackson Health System when she accessed Jackson’s computer databases to steal patient PII, including social security numbers, of over approximately 24,000 individuals during a five-year period. Using the stolen information, Reid’s co-conspirators filed fraudulent tax returns in the names of Jackson Hospital patients.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of SSA-OIG, IRS-CI, USSS, DOL-OIG, MDPD Professional Compliance Bureau and Public Corruption Section, and the Miami-Dade County Office of the Inspector General. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daya Nathan.

United States v. Douglas McArthur Bentley, Jr., et al,

Case No. 17-CR-20033-Altonaga

On January 19, 2017, Douglas Mcarthur Bentley, Jr., 41, Yvonne Lynn Bentley, 40, and Willie Ellis Hayden, 25, all of Homestead, were charged in a thirteen-count indictment for participating in a conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims, theft of government funds and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, starting on or about January 29, 2010, and continuing to on or about April 16, 2013, the defendants and their co-conspirators obtained stolen PII from various individuals without their consent and used the PII to file false and fraudulent tax returns with the IRS. The defendants and their co-conspirators also directed the IRS to electronically transfer tax refunds from the false and fraudulent tax returns to personal and corporate bank accounts they controlled at several banks located in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Once the tax refunds were deposited in bank accounts the defendants controlled, the illicitly obtained refunds were used for their personal gain and profit. According to allegations made in court, the intended loss amount for the fraud scheme was approximately $472,393.07 and the actual loss was $414,838.07.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of IRS-CI and the Homestead Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maurice A. Johnson.

United States v. Blain, et al., Case No. 16-CR-14076-Middlebrooks

On December 1, 2016, five people were charged in a three-count indictment for their participation in conspiracy to commit stolen identity tax refund fraud.

Charlton Tierry Blain, 30, Clifford Raoul Blain, 28, Stephane Randolph Blain, 25, all of Pembroke Pines, and Dorsey Sims, Jr., 31, and Luis Roberto Rodriguez, 38, both of Sebring, were charged with conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims; conspiracy to commit access device fraud; and unlawful transfer, possession or use of means of identification.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, between January of 2012 and December of 2013, the defendants conspired to unjustly enriched themselves by using unlawfully obtained personally identifiable information to file false and fraudulent income tax returns. The fraudulently obtained tax refunds were deposited into fraudulent bank accounts controlled by the defendants, and the illicit proceeds were then withdrawn from those accounts. In total, 679 fraudulent tax returns were filed, claiming $986,978.00 in total refunds.

Mr. Ferrer commends the efforts of IRS-CI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel E. Funk and Adam C. McMichael.

United States v. Teri Onick and Philip White,

Case No. 17-CR-20011-Williams

On January 6, 2017, Teri Onick, 44, of Miami, and Phillip White, 45, of Salt Lake City, UT, of Miami, were charged in a thirteen-count indictment for their participation in a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government.

According to the allegations in the indictment, on various dates between February and October 2012, Onick and White unlawfully obtained and deposited the fraudulently obtained tax refund checks belonging to other persons, without their permission or authority, into Onick and White’s bank accounts for their personal use and benefit. The estimated fraud loss is over $150,000.00.

Mr. Ferrer commends the efforts of IRS-CI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cary Aronovitz.

United States v. Gregory Clermont, Case No. 17-mj-2128-Torres

On January 30, 2017, Gregory Clermont, 25, of Miami, was charged by criminal complaint with possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices, that is, social security numbers issued to other persons.

to the allegations contained in the criminal complaint, on May 7, 2013, Clermont was in possession of official tax documents and handwritten lists of names, dates of birth, and social security numbers belonging to other individuals, as well as other handwritten notes appearing to relate to the filing of tax returns. Clermont was also in possession of a composition book containing what appeared to be the names, dates of birth, and social security numbers of approximately 140 individuals, three H&R Block debit cards in other people’s names, and a laptop that contained user identification numbers associated with the filing and attempted filing of tax returns through TurboTax online. More than fifteen of the social security numbers in the composition book belonged to other individuals.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of IRS-CI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John P. Gonsoulin.

United States v. Johnathan Jameel Ford, Case No. 17-CR-20079-Williams

On January 27, 2017, Johnathan Jameel Ford a/k/a “Johnatan Jameel Ford”, 41, of Broward, was charged in a fourteen-count indictment for the theft of government money and aggravated identity theft.

According to the indictment, between September 2013 and July 2015, Ford received stolen tax refunds or deposited altered U.S. Treasury checks, totaling over $45,000, knowing that the tax refunds or U.S. Treasury checks had been stolen.

Mr. Ferrer commends the efforts of IRS-CI, TIGTA and USSS. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daya Nathan.

United States v. Crystal Jesha Griffin, Case No. 17-CR-20076-Williams

On January 27, 2017, Crystal Jesha Griffin, 25, of Miramar, was charged in a nine-count indictment for theft of government money.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, Griffin did knowingly and willfully receive United States Department of Treasury tax refunds, knowing the tax refunds to have been stolen. Specifically, Griffin is accused of receiving nine different tax refunds, from nine different victims, totaling $8,074.00.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Stratton.

United States v. Ronald Esperant, Case No. 17-mj-2122-O’Sullivan

On January 27, 2017, Ronald Esperant, 31, of Miami, was charged by criminal complaint with the theft of government money for his participation in a tax scheme that defrauded the U.S. government.

According to the allegations contained in the complaint, in April 2013 multiple tax refunds issued to other persons, without their permission or authority, were deposited into Esperant’s bank account for an actual loss amount of $5,885.00.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of IRS-CI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Langley.

United States v. Ricardo Innocent, Case No. 17-mj-2123-O’Sullivan

On January 27, 2017, Ricardo Innocent, 34, of Miami, was charged by criminal complaint with the theft of government money for his participation in a tax scheme that defrauded the U.S. government.

According to the allegations contained in the complaint, Innocent, filed fraudulent tax returns from January 2011 through February 2014 and had those fraudulently obtained tax refunds deposited into his bank account for an actual loss amount of $77,381.18.

Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of IRS-CI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Langley.

United States v. Michelin Petit-Maitre, Case No. 17-mj-2124-O’Sullivan

On January 27, 2017, Michelin Petit-Maitre, 36, of Miami, was charged by criminal complaint with the theft of government money for his participation in a tax scheme that defrauded the U.S. government.

According to the allegations contained in the complaint, Petit-Maitre filed fraudulent tax returns from June 2013 through in or around February 2014 in the names of other persons and had those fraudulently obtained tax refunds deposited into his bank for an actual loss amount of $41,840.00.

Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of IRS-CI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Langley.

United States v. Martha Somayra Gomez, Case No. 17-CR-20061-King

On January 26, 2017, Martha Somayra Gomez, 28, of Miami, was charged in a nine-count indictment for the theft of government money.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, between August 20, 2012 and June 5, 2013, nine tax refunds issued to other persons were deposited into Gomez’s bank accounts for an actual loss amount of $24,922.00.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the FBI and IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Mackenzie Duane.

United States v. Youri P. Baptiste, Case No. 17-CR-20048-Altonaga

On January 24, 2017, Youri P. Baptiste, 23, of Miami, was charged in a six-count indictment for the theft of government money.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, between September 5, 2012 and September 24, 2013, six tax refunds issued to other persons were deposited into Baptiste’s bank accounts for an actual loss amount of $22,048.00.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the FBI and IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Mackenzie Duane.

United States v. Altagrace Shaina Descollines, Case No. 17-CR-20047-Scola

On January 24, 2017, Altagrace Shaina Descollines, 25, of Hollywood, was charged in a three-count indictment for the theft of government money.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, between December 5, 2012 and April 24, 2013, three tax refunds issued to other persons were deposited into Descollines’ bank account for an actual loss amount of $13,169.00.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the FBI and IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Mackenzie Duane.

United States v. Quincy Thomas Cook, Case No. 17-CR-20059-Williams

On January 26, 2017, Quincy Thomas Cook, 24, of Miramar, was charged in a four-count indictment for the theft of government money.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, between April 2012 and April 2013, four tax refunds issued to other persons were deposited into Cook’s bank account for an actual loss amount of $5,896.00.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the FBI, IRS-CI and USPIS. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Stratton.

United States v. Willie Lee Parker, III, Case No. 17-CR-20058-Middlebrooks

On January 26, 2017, Willie Lee Parker III, 23, of Opa-Locka, was charged in an eleven-count indictment for the theft of government money.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, between February 2013 and April 2013, eleven tax refunds issued to other persons were deposited into Parker III’s bank account for an actual loss amount of $6,610.00.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the FBI and IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Stratton.

United States v. Damon Donnell Rhodes, Case No. 17-CR-20062-Lenard

On January 26, 2017, Damon Donnell Rhodes, 23, of Hialeah, was charged in a seven-count indictment for the theft of government money.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, between November 2012 and December 2012, seven tax refunds issued to other persons were deposited into Rhodes’ bank account for an actual loss amount of $5,495.00.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the FBI, USPIS and IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Stratton.

United States v. Rashaundra Javanni Lewis, Case No. 17-CR-20060-Scola

On January 26, 2017, Rashaundra Javanni Lewis, 26, of Miami, was charged in a five-count indictment for the theft of government money.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, between September 19, 2012 and September 26, 2012, five tax refunds issued to other persons were deposited into Lewis’ bank account for an actual loss amount of $3,953.00.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the FBI and IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Mackenzie Duane.

THEFT OF PUBLIC BENEFIT FUNDS

United States v. Phyllistone Termine, Case No. 17-mj-2098-O’Sullivan

On January 26, 2017, Phyllistone Termine, 19, of Miami, was charged by criminal complaint for access device fraud, possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices, possession of device making equipment, and aggravated identity theft related to his alleged participation in a fraudulent unemployment compensation scheme.

According to the court record, including allegations contained in the criminal complaint, an IP address connected to Termine’s residence was used to access and file fraudulent unemployment benefit claims for more than 800 individuals on the Florida Department of Employment and Opportunity’s online database between March 23, 2015, and March 7, 2016.

the course of the investigation law enforcement executed a search warrant at Termine’s residence and allegedly discovered the defendant in his bedroom, writing on a small notepad. The first line on the notepad read “Summer 2016th” and stated “Buy 3 Phones, 1 clean 2 dirty’s” and “Buy online – Merrick BNK & CCVs.” CCVs are numeric fraud-prevention codes on credit cards that are used to help verify possession of your credit card. They can also be purchased from internet sources, in order for people to obtain stolen credit card data. On the bed next to Termine were three cellular phones and a laptop computer. Hidden between the defendant’s mattress and box spring was a black case containing several debit and credit cards belonging to individuals who did not reside at Termine’s residence. Inside the black case were several white blank plastic cards with magnetic stripes that are used to make debit and credit cards. On the floor next to Termine’s bed was hardware used to encode the magnetic stripe on credit/debit cards. Several victims whose credit or debit cards were found during the search also had their identities used to file for unemployment benefits using the IP Address at Termine’s home. These victims had not filed unemployment claims within the last 5 years, did not authorize anyone else to, and did not know Termine.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of DOL-OIG and SSA-OIG. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne P. McNamara.

United States v. Kicksonley Azema and Abdul Pierrelus,

Case No. 17-CR-20081-Moore

On January 27, 2017, Kicksonley Azema, 26, and Abdul Pierrelus, 29, both of North Miami, were charged in a five-count indictment with conspiracy to commit access device fraud, using unauthorized access devices to fraudulently obtain something valued at $1,000 or more and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, beginning on or about January 26, 2015, and continuing through the date of the indictment, Azema and Pierrelus unlawfully used social security numbers of Michigan residents to fraudulently file unemployment benefit claims with the state of Michigan, and directed those fraudulently obtained funds to debit card accounts fraudulently established using the social security numbers belonging to other persons.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of DOL-OIG, ICE-HSI and the State of Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian J. Shack.

United States v. James Kelly Morency, Frantzy Morency, and Jakeem Amal Stevens, Case No. 17-CR-20075-Huck

On January 27, 2017, James Kelly Morency, 21, of Hallandale Beach, Frantzy Morency, 26, of Lehigh Acres, and Jakeem Amal Stevens, 28, of Hollywood, were charged in a thirteen-count indictment with conspiracy to commit access device fraud, aggravated identity theft, possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices, access device fraud, and computer fraud.

According to the indictment, between May 2011 and February 2015, the defendants possessed, transferred and used the social security numbers of other persons to obtain Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits by creating online accounts with the SSA with the stolen social security numbers belonging to other persons and having the SSA benefits redirected to accounts that the defendants controlled.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the FBI, SSA-OIG, and IRS-CI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daya Nathan.

United States v. Sammie Nathaniel Williams, Jr., a/k/a “Old School,” Case No. 16-CR-20921-Scola

On December 9, 2016, Sammie Nathaniel Williams, Jr., a/k/a “Old School,” 58, of Miami, was charged in a six-count indictment for mail theft by a postal employee and theft of government money. On January 19, 2017, Williams pleaded guilty to theft of government money.

According to the court record, on November 29, 2016, Williams, a United States Postal Service employee, stole three U.S. Treasury checks from the mail.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of USPIS, TIGTA and IRS-CI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Stratton.

BANK ACCOUNT TAKEOVERS

United States v. Jonathan Phanor, Case No. 16-CR-60349-Dimitrouleas

On December 13, 2016, Jonathan Phanor, 33, of Margate, was charged in a four-count indictment for his participation in a conspiracy to commit bank fraud and identity theft scheme.

According to court documents, from May 18, 2013 through August 13, 2013, Phanor accessed Wells Fargo customers’ bank accounts to obtain their name, date of birth, social security number and bank account numbers and provided the information to his co-conspirator. A co-conspirator would then open joint bank accounts using Wells Fargo customer’s name, date of birth, social security number and bank account numbers and move Wells Fargo customers’ money to the joint account. Once the money was in the joint account, the co-conspirator would then transfer the money belonging to the Wells Fargo customers’ from the joint account to bank accounts controlled by the co-conspirators. The defendant and his co-conspirators used the customers’ identities without their permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the FBI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Miesha Shonta Darrough.

United States v. Mike Edwing Brizard, Case No. 16-CR-20931-Altonaga

On December 13, 2016, Mike Edwing Brizard, 28, of Miramar, was charged in a seven-count indictment for his participation in a conspiracy to commit bank fraud and identity theft scheme. On January 20, 2017, Brizard pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud. Brizard is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Altonaga on April 3, 2017.

According to the court record, from August 20, 2012 through February 26, 2013, Brizard accessed Wells Fargo customers’ bank accounts to obtain their name, date of birth, social security number and bank account numbers and provided the information to his co-conspirator. A co-conspirator would then open joint bank accounts using Wells Fargo customers’ name, date of birth, social security number and bank account numbers and move Wells Fargo customers’ money to the joint account. Once the money was in the joint account, a co-conspirator would then transfer the money belonging to the Wells Fargo customers from the joint account to bank accounts controlled by the co-conspirators. The defendant and his co-conspirators used the customers’ identities without their permission or authority and were responsible for a loss totaling approximately $164,755.91.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the FBI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Miesha Shonta Darrough.

ACCOUNT TAKEOVERS (INCLUDING CREDIT CARD FRAUD)

United States v. Yulier Blanco Perez, et al., Case No. 17-CR-20073-Altonaga

On January 27, 2017, Yulier Blanco Perez, 34, David Machado Frometa, 34, and Silvio Lopez Cuellar, 30, of Miami, were charged in an eleven-count indictment with conspiracy to commit access device fraud, access device fraud, aggravated identity theft, and possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, from July 28, 2016 through October 27, 2016, Perez, Frometa and Cuellar conspired to use credit card account numbers issued to other persons to unlawfully obtain items with an aggregate value of at least $1,000.00. The defendants used the fraudulent credit card account numbers to purchase stone tile from various tile retailers in South Florida. Over four days, during the three-month conspiracy, the defendants fraudulently purchased over $96,000.00 worth of stone tile from three retailers.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the MDPD and USSS. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Kahn Obenauf.

United States v. Geraldine Hughes, Case No. 17-CR-20065-Gayles

On January 26, 2017, Geraldine Hughes, 30, of Pompano Beach, was charged in a four-count indictment for access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

to the allegations contained in the indictment and other public records, in August of 2016, Hughes conspired with another person to create a Care Credit account in another person’s name to which Hughes was later fraudulently added on as an authorized user and able to charge dental procedures onto the Care Credit account. Hughes made several visits to dental offices in North Miami and Aventura. Approximately $7,000 worth of dental work was charged to the individual’s account, without his/her permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the Aventura Police Department and IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Breezye Telfair.

United States v. Fernando Garcia Cala, Case No. 17-CR-20072-Moore

On January 26, 2017, Fernandeo Garcia Cala, 32, of Miami, was charged in a nine-count indictment for access device fraud, possession of device-making equipment and aggravated identity theft.

According to the court record, including allegations contained in the indictment, Garcia operated a Ford F-350 diesel truck that was illegally outfitted with “bladders,” which are containers attached to the fuel line that allow the vehicle to hold more than 300 gallons of diesel fuel. Garcia used gift cards, fraudulently re-encoded with bank account numbers belonging to other individuals, to obtain hundreds of gallons of fuel from several different fuel stations. A search warrant executed at Garcia’s home revealed skimming devices that can be used to capture debit/credit card account number and pin numbers as they are inputted at the fuel pump, an encoding device that is used to place the skimmed numbers onto the magnetic stripes (such as those found on gift cards and hotel room keys), and more than 196 counterfeit access devices that were encoded with account numbers belonging to other individuals.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the USSS and MDPD. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Breezye Telfair.

United States v. Bamby Pierre, Case No. 16-CR-20945-Williams

On December 15, 2016, Bamby Pierre, 26, of Miami, was charged in an eight-count indictment for attempted use of unauthorized access devices, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, between November 2015 and April 2016, Pierre attempted to use and used the debit card numbers issued to other persons to make over $500,000 in withdrawals from ATMs. Bamby also unlawfully possessed and used the names and debit card numbers of other persons, without their permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the USPIS and Broward County Sheriff’s Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Stratton.

United States v. Marcus Lee Grant, Case No. 17-CR-20077-Moreno

January 27, 2017, defendant Marcus Lee Grant, 26, of Miramar, was charged in a five-count indictment for his participation in a scheme to steal credit cards by directing and intercepting mail containing credit cards and other credit card account information. The indictment charges the defendant with conspiracy to commit access device fraud, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. The indictment further charges that Grant and his co-conspirators changed the mailing addresses of other individuals, without their permission or authority, in order to intercept the mail and facilitate the fraudulent scheme.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cary Aronovitz.

United States v. Michel Gonzalez Suarez, et al., Case No. 16-CR-10053-King

On December 20, 2016, Michel Gonzalez Suarez, 38, and Beatriz Morales Saladriga, 20, both of Hialeah, were charged in a five-count indictment for their participation in a conspiracy to commit access device fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft in the Florida Keys.

to the allegations contained in the indictment, on October 5, 2016, Suarez and Saladriga conspired with each other and others to commit access device fraud. As part of the conspiracy, the defendants used counterfeit credit cards encoded with account numbers issued to other people to conduct a series of fraudulent transactions at several stores located in Monroe County. The defendants are also alleged to have unlawfully possessed fifteen or more counterfeit credit and debit cards encoded with unauthorized account numbers, and to have used one or more counterfeit credit cards encoded with account numbers issued to other persons.

Mr. Ferrer commends the efforts of ICE-HSI and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne P. McNamara.

United States v. Brandon Bair, et al., Case No. 17-CR-60005-Zloch

On January 10, 2017, Brandon Bair, 23, of Cutler Bay, Aimee Chin-Sang, 22, of Homestead, and Kevin Lawson Mitchell, 21, of Davie, were charged in a seven-count indictment for access fraud and aggravated identity theft indictment relating to trafficking in and using unauthorized AT&T merchant account numbers and credit card account numbers to commit more than $80,000 of fraud.

According to allegations contained in the indictment, on various dates in February, April and May of 2016, Bair and Chin-Sang used credit cards to conduct multiple fraudulent transactions at Home Depot stores located in Sunrise and Davie. Mitchell, an employee at the Davie Home Depot, helped Bair and Chin-Sang conduct several of these transactions. As part of the fraudulent scheme, Bair and Chin-Sang also presented counterfeit licenses and used unauthorized AT&T merchant account numbers to conduct fraudulent transactions involving thousands of dollars of Apple products at an AT&T store located in Fort Lauderdale. All three defendants are charged with conspiring to commit access device fraud. Bair and Chin-Sang are also charged with multiple counts of use of unauthorized access devices and aggravated identity theft.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the USSS, Fort Lauderdale Police Department, and Davie Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne P. McNamara.

United States v. Angela Maria Villegas, 17-CR-20086-Ungaro

On January 27, 2017, Angela Maria Villegas, 41, of Miami Beach, was charged in a five-count indictment for aggravated identity theft and use of unauthorized access devices.

According to the court record, including allegations contained in the indictment, from January 20, 2015, through April 12, 2016, Villegas, a high-end retail employee, made over $20,000 worth of unauthorized purchases using the credit card account numbers belonging to her high-end specialty customers, without their permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the efforts of the MDPD and USSS. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Langley.

United States v. Ahlaniee Maheei Chinn, 17-CR-20031-Middlebrooks

On January 7, 2017, Ahlaniee Maheei Chinn, 23, of Miami, was charged in a two-count indictment for access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

to the court record, including allegations contained in the indictment, on March 4, 2016, Chinn, purchased more than two-thousand dollars’ worth of goods with a counterfeit credit card. The counterfeit card had the true account holders’ information shaved off and Chinn’s name was fraudulently embossed onto the credit card.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of IRS-CI and Aventura Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Breezye Telfair.

United States v. Suzelie Cheremond, Case No. 17-CR-60025-Bloom

On January 26, 2017, Suzelie Cheremond, 25, of Miami, was charged in a five-count indictment for access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to the court record, including allegations contained in the indictment, in December of 2015, Cheremond, a Sam’s Club employee in Miramar, unlawfully obtained and used credit cards belonging to other persons to make purchases at Sam’s Club for $4,110.11.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of IRS-CI, the Aventura Police Department and Miramar Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Breezye Telfair.

United States v. Quienece Shedina Saintvil and Larod James Robinson,

Case No. 17-CR-20064-Ungaro

On January 26, 2017, Quienece Shedina Saintvil, 30, and Larod James Robinson, 34, both of Miami, were charged in a three-count indictment for their participation in a conspiracy to commit access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to the court record, including allegations contained in the indictment, in August of 2016, Saintvil and Robinson entered the Bloomingdale’s Department store and unlawfully used a credit card account belonging to another person to make purchases. Saintvil and Robinson picked out merchandise and then Saintvil provided a Bloomingdale customer’s social security number in order to access the customer’s Bloomingdale’s credit account. Saintvil and Robinson made a total of three transactions, totaling $3,416.77, without the permission or authority of the true credit card account holder.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of IRS-CI and Aventura Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Breezye Telfair.

United States v. Shanisa Bell, Case No. 17-CR-60029-Bloom

On January 27, 2017, Shanisa Bell, 25, of Coconut Creek, was charged in a three-count indictment for using unauthorized access devices to fraudulently obtain something valued at $1,000 or more and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, between July 2015 and June 2016, Bell unlawfully used debit card account numbers issued in the names of other persons without their permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of DOL-OIG, ICE-HSI and the State of Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian J. Shack.

United States v. Edrey Acosta, Case No. 17-CR-20071-Martinez

On January 26, 2017, Edrey Acosta, 27, of Miami, was charged in a three-count indictment for access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, on November 8, 2016, Acosta used counterfeit encoded with credit card account numbers issued to other persons.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the USSS and MDPD. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Breezye Telfair.

United States v. Crystal Henderson, Case No. 17-CR-20066-Gayles

On January 26, 2017, Crystal Henderson, 34, of Homestead, was charged in a four-count indictment for access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, on various dates throughout September of 2016, Henderson unlawfully used a credit card account belonging to another person to make purchases over $1,000.00.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of IRS-CI, Stamford Connecticut Police Department, and Aventura Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Breezye Telfair.

United States v. Shante Marie Wesby, Case No. 17-CR-20032-Scola

On January 7, 2017, Shante Marie Wesby, 37, of Fort Lauderdale, was charged in a three-count indictment for access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, on various dates throughout January and February of 2016, Wesby unlawfully used a social security number and a credit card account number belonging to another person, without his/her permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of IRS-CI and Aventura Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Breezye Telfair.

United States v. Kevin Martinez Morazan, Case No. 17-CR-60016-Bloom

On January 24, 2017, Kevin Martinez Morazan, 24, of Broward County, was charged in a five-count indictment with possessing fifteen or more unauthorized access devices and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, on May 7, 2015, Martinez unlawfully possessed names and social security numbers of other persons, without their permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the efforts of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, USSS and IRS-CI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daya Nathan.

United States v. Tymonzo Ward, Case No. 16-CR-60306-Cohn

On October 28, 2016, Tymonzo Ward, 37, of Wilton Manors, was charged in a six-count indictment for access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to allegations contained in the indictment, on May 21, 2015, Ward unlawfully possessed fifteen or more credit card account numbers and social security numbers belonging to other persons. Ward also unlawfully possessed and used the names, date of births, and driver licenses of other persons without their permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of IRS-CI, the USSS, and Fort Lauderdale Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne P. McNamara

United States v. Rayden Garcia Ramos, Case No. 16-CR-20808-Lenard

On October 21, 2016, Rayden Garcia Ramos, 46, of Hialeah, was charged in a six-count indictment for access device fraud, possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, from September 8, 2015 through December 5, 2015, Ramos trafficked in and used one or more credit card account numbers issued to other persons in order to obtain something of value worth $1,000 or more. Additionally, on October 21, 2015, Ramos possessed unlawfully possessed fifteen or more counterfeit credit card account numbers belonging to other persons.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the USSS. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne P. McNamara.

United States v. Terry Tyrone Clowers, Case No. 17-CR-60004-Dimitrouleas

On January 10, 2017, Terry Tyrone Clowers, 30, of Fort Lauderdale, was charged in a two-count indictment for attempted use of unauthorized access devices and aggravated identity theft.

According to the court record, including allegations contained in the indictment, on January 2, 2017, Clowers used the name and social security number of another person in an attempt to purchase an All-Terrain Vehicle worth thousands of dollars from a Broward Motor Sports store in Fort Lauderdale.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the USSS and Fort Lauderdale Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne P. McNamara.

United States v. Halima Ouedraogo, Case No. 17-CR-60015-Moreno

On January 24, 2017, Halima Ouedraogo, 35, of Kirkland, Washington, was charged in a twelve-count indictment for access device fraud, possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, from August 4, 2015 through August 25, 2015, in Broward County, Ouedraogo used credit cards issued to other persons to fraudulently obtain things valued at $1,000 or more. The indictment also alleges that on August 25, 2015, Ouedraogo possessed fifteen or more credit card account numbers and social security numbers belonging to other persons.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of IRS-CI, USSS, and the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne P. McNamara.

United States v. Terrell Tyrone Rivers and Preston Elijah Parrish, Case No. 17-CR-60024-Dimitrouleas

On January 26, 2017, Terrell Tyrone Rivers, 27, of Orlando, and Preston Elijah Parrish, 25, of Lauderhill, were charged in a ten-count indictment with conspiracy to commit access device fraud, possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices, and aggravated identity theft.

According to allegations contained in the indictment, from February 10, 2016 through February 24, 2016, Rivers and Parrish conspired to possess fifteen or more unauthorized access devices, that is, social security numbers issued to other persons. On February 24, 2016, Rivers drove from Orlando to Lauderhill, Florida, to meet Parrish. According to court documents, on February 24, 2016, Rivers and Parrish were pulled over in Lauderhill, Florida. Upon a search of Rivers, several driver licenses with other persons’ information and Rivers’ photograph were recovered, along with personalized checks in other persons’ names. In the vehicle, a black suitcase, printer, tablets, and multiple blank business checks were recovered. A search of Rivers’ electronics revealed the PII of more than fifteen other persons. A search of Parrish’s electronics also revealed the PII of more than fifteen other persons.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the USSS and the Lauderhill Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Mackenzie Duane.

United States v. Jessie Aguilar, Case No. 16-CR-20944-Gayles

On December 15, 2016, Jesse Aguilar, 28, of Hallandale Beach, was charged in a five-count indictment for conspiring to commit access device fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, on or about November 2, 2014, through on or about September 15, 2015, Aguilar conspired with others to commit access device fraud. As part of the conspiracy, they used counterfeit credit cards encoded with account numbers issued to other people to conduct a series of fraudulent transactions at the Apple Store in Miami Beach, Florida. The loss amount was approximately $308,830.86.

Mr. Ferrer commends the efforts of ICE-HSI and the MDPD. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Miesha Shonta Darrough.

United States v. Dave Benggie Alin, Case No. 16-CR-20815-Williams

On October 25, 2016, Dave Benggie Alin, 21, of Miami, was charged in a three-count indictment with fraudulent use of a counterfeit credit card. aggravated identity theft, and possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon. On January 18, 2017, Alin pleaded guilty to all charges. He is currently set for sentencing on April 7, 2017.

According to the court record, on October 12, 2016, Alin was found by law enforcement to be in possession of a counterfeit credit card and a firearm. Alin used the credit card to check into a hotel in Miami, and then he continued to use the credit card to make purchases at the hotel.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the MDPD and IRS-CI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Cervantes.

United States v. Luis Miniert, Case No. 16-CR-20941-Scola

On December 15, 2016, Luis Miniert, 26, of Miami, was charged in a five-count indictment for conspiring to commit access device fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, from November 2, 2014 through September 15, 2015, Miniert conspired with others to commit access device fraud. As part of the conspiracy, they used counterfeit credit cards encoded with account numbers issued to other people to conduct a series of fraudulent transactions at the Apple Store in Miami Beach, Florida. The loss amount was approximately $119,210.73.

Mr. Ferrer commends the efforts of ICE-HSI and the MDPD. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Miesha Shonta Darrough.

United States v. Anthony Leon, Case No. 17-CR-20068-Lenard

On January 26, 2017, Anthony Leon, 31, of Hialeah, was charged in a five-count indictment for conspiring to commit access device fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, March 20, 2014 through July 18, 2015, Leon conspired with others to commit access device fraud. As part of the conspiracy, they used counterfeit credit cards encoded with account numbers issued to other people to conduct a series of fraudulent transactions at the Apple Store in Miami Beach, Florida. The loss amount was approximately $158,690.37.

Mr. Ferrer commends the efforts of ICE-HSI and the MDPD. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Miesha Shonta Darrough.

United States v. Diana Leon a/k/a “Diana Montoya”, Case No.17-CR-20069-Altonaga

On January 26, 2017, Diana Leon a/k/a “Diana Montoya,” 22, of Hialeah, was charged in a five-count indictment for conspiring to commit access device fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, from September 20, 2014 through August 31, 2015, the defendant conspired with others to commit access device fraud. As part of the conspiracy, they used counterfeit credit cards encoded with account numbers issued to other people to conduct a series of fraudulent transactions at the Apple Store in Miami Beach, Florida. The loss amount was approximately $141,503.01.

Mr. Ferrer commends the efforts of ICE-HSI and the MDPD. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Miesha Shonta Darrough.

United States v. Stephanie Vargas, Case No. 17-CR-20070-Moreno

On January 26, 2017, Stephanie Vargas, 26, of Hialeah, was charged in a five-count indictment for conspiring to commit access device fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, from December 20, 2014 through July 17, 2015, Vargas conspired with others to commit access device fraud. As part of the conspiracy, they used counterfeit credit cards encoded with account numbers issued to other people to conduct a series of fraudulent transactions at the Apple Store in Miami Beach, Florida. The loss amount was approximately $174,152.60.

Mr. Ferrer commends the efforts of ICE-HSI and the MDPD. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Miesha Shonta Darrough.

UNLAWFULLY POSSESSING PII

United States v. Alvin Celius Andre, Case No. 17-CR-60014-Zloch

On January 20, 2017, Alvin Celius Andre, 26, of Miramar, was charged in a four-count indictment with access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, on March 26, 2016, Andre possessed fifteen or more social security numbers issued to other persons. Andre also unlawfully possessed and used the names and date of births of other persons, without their permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of Miramar Police Department and ICE-HSI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Langley.

United States v. Frantz Felix, Jr, Case No. 17-CR-20038-Williams

On January 20, 2017, Frantz Felix, Jr, 23, of Miramar, was charged in a six-count indictment with access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, on March 26, 2016, Felix possessed fifteen or more social security numbers issued to other persons and used a credit card account number issued to another person. Felix, Jr. also unlawfully possessed and used the names and date of births of other persons, without their permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the Miramar Police Department and ICE-HSI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Langley.

United States v. Marcus Allen Griffin, Case No. 17-CR-60011-Dimitrouleas

On January 13, 2017, Marcus Allen Griffin, 22, of Miramar, was charged in a six-count indictment with access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

to the allegations contained in the indictment, on September 1, 2016, Griffin possessed fifteen or more social security numbers and credit card account numbers issued to other persons. Griffin also unlawfully possessed and used the names and date of births of other persons, without their permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the Miramar Police Department and ICE-HSI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Langley.

United States v. Marc Antoine Riviere, Case No. 17-CR-20024-Moore

On January 13, 2017, Marc Antoine Riviere, 29, of Miami, was charged in a four-count indictment for identity theft in connection with his possession of at least fifteen social security numbers belonging to other individuals.

According to the allegations in the indictment, on July 17, 2014, Riviere was found in possession of fifteen or more social security numbers issued to other persons, without their permission or authority. Riviere also unlawfully possessed and used the names and date of births of other persons, without their permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of FBI, IRS-CI, and Miami-Dade County Schools Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Miesha Shonta Darrough.

United States v. Jacqueloi Trishauna Moreau, Case No. 17-CR-60003-Bloom

On January 10, 2017, Jacqueloi Trishauna Moreau, 28, of Lauderdale Lakes, was charged in a four-count indictment for identity theft in connection with her possession of at least fifteen social security numbers belonging to other individuals.

According to the allegations in the indictment, on July 18, 2016, Moreau was found in possession of fifteen or more names, dates and social security numbers issued to other persons. Moreau also unlawfully possessed and used the names and date of births of other persons, without their permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the efforts of USPIS, IRS-CI and Margate Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Miesha Shonta Darrough.

United States v. Elena Caridad Amaya, Case No. 17-CR-20067-Ungaro

On January 26, 2017, Elena Caridad Amaya, 42, of Lauderdale Lakes, was charged in a four-count indictment for identity theft in connection with her possession of at least fifteen social security numbers belonging to other individuals.

According to the allegations in the indictment, in April 2016, Amaya was found in possession of fifteen or more counterfeit card encoded with account numbers and social security numbers issued to other persons. Amaya used a credit card account number issued to another person, without his/her permission or authority, to make purchases totaling $20,681.64.

Mr. Ferrer commends the efforts of IRS-CI and MDPD. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Miesha Shonta Darrough.

United States v. Robert Jamorris Jackson, Case No. 16-CR-60337-Bloom

On December 2, 2016, Robert Jamorris Jackson, 33, of Broward County, was charged in a six count indictment with possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices and aggravated identity theft.

The indictment alleges that on February 18, 2016, in Broward County, Jackson possessed personal identifying information of more than fifteen people.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the USSS. This case was indicted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Cervantes and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Stratton.

United States v. Aamir Khan, Case No. 16-CR-20839-Lenard

On November 1, 2016, Aamir Khan, 20, of Miami, was charged in a six-count indictment with possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices and aggravated identity theft. On January 3, 2017, Khan pleaded guilty to possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices and one count of aggravated identity theft. Khan is scheduled to be sentenced on March 15, 2017.

According to the court record, on or about June 10, 2014, Khan was arrested for driving without a license. A search incident to arrest revealed that Khan had a USB drive in his pocket. A consensual search of the USB drive revealed PII for approximately 3,680 individuals, including their names, addresses, dates of birth, and social security numbers.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of IRS-CI and NMBPD. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Cervantes.

United States v. Victor Joseph, Case No. 16-CR-60335-Zloch

On November 29, 2016, Victor Joseph, 26, of Orlando, was charged in a seven-count indictment with using one or more unauthorized access devices, possessing fifteen or more unauthorized access devices and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations in the indictment, between January and March 2015, Joseph possessed and used social security numbers of other persons, without their permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the efforts of IRS-CI and USSS. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daya Nathan.

United States v. Dave Pierre, Case No. 17-CR-60023-Moreno

On January 26, 2017, Dave Pierre, 28, of Miami, was charged in a five-count indictment with access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, on November 7, 2016, Pierre unlawfully possessed fifteen or more names, dates of birth and social security numbers belonging to other persons. Pierre unlawfully possessed and used the names and date of births of other persons, without their permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of IRS-CI and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne P. McNamara.

United States v. Ricky Cearc, Case No. 17-CR-20083-Moreno

On January 27, 2017, Ricky Cearc, 27, of Miami, was charged in a three-count indictment for access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to allegations contained in the indictment, on August 29, 2013, Ricky Cearc unlawfully possessed fifteen or more social security numbers belonging to other persons. Ricky Cearc unlawfully possessed and used the date of births and social security numbers of other persons, without their permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI and MDPD. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan D. Stratton.

United States v. Lyns Cearc, Case No. 17-CR-20084-Gayles

On January 27, 2017, Lyns Cearc, 34, of Miami, was charged in a three-count indictment for access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

to allegations contained in the indictment, on August 29, 2013, Lyns Cearc unlawfully possessed fifteen or more social security numbers belonging to other persons. Lyns Cearc unlawfully possessed and used the date of births and social security numbers of other persons, without their permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of ICE-his and MDPD. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan D. Stratton.

United States v. Edouard Bastien, Case No. 16-CR-20953-Gayles

On December 19, 2016, a criminal information was filed, charging Edouard Bastien, 27, of North Miami Beach, with possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices and aggravated identity theft.

to the allegations contained in the information, on June 20, 2014, Bastien unlawfully possessed fifteen or more social security numbers belonging to other persons. Bastien also unlawfully possessed and used the names and social security numbers of other persons without their permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI, DOL-OIG, IRS-CI and North Miami Beach Police Department (NMBPD). This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Rothstein.

United States v. D’Andre Nathaniel Watson. Case No. 16-CR-20958-Lenard

On December 20, 2016, D’Andre Nathaniel Watson, 19, of North Miami Beach, was charged in a six-count indictment for possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, on February 25, 2016 and again on March 16, 2016, Watson unlawfully possessed fifteen or more social security numbers belonging to other persons. Watson also unlawfully possessed and used the names and the date of births of other persons, without their permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI, DOL-OIG, and NMBPD. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Rothstein.

United States v. Brian Anthony Joseph, Case No. 17-CR-20004-Moore

On January 5, 2017, Brian Anthony Joseph, 21, of Miami, was charged in a four-count indictment for possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, on November 9, 2015, Joseph unlawfully possessed fifteen or more social security numbers belonging to other persons. Watson also unlawfully possessed and used the names and the date of births of other persons, without their permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts ICE-HSI, DOL-OIG, NMBPD and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Rothstein.

United States v. Richard Wayne Brown, Case No. 17-CR-60010-Cohn

On January 13, 2017, Richard Wayne Brown, 29, of Miramar, was charged in a seven-count indictment for possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, on December 28, 2016 and January 6, 2017, Brown unlawfully possessed fifteen or more social security numbers belonging to other persons. Brown also unlawfully possessed and used the names and the date of births of other persons, without their permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Inspector General (USDA-OIG), FBI, USSS, and Fort Lauderdale Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Rothstein.

United States v. Peterson Joseph, Case No. 16-CR-20830-Moore

On October 28, 2016, Peterson Joseph, 24, of Miami, Florida, was charged in a four-count indictment with aggravated identity theft, possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices, and using unauthorized access devices to fraudulently obtain something valued at $1,000 or more.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, from June 17, 2014 through May 19, 2015, Joseph unlawfully possessed and used fifteen or more social security numbers belonging to other persons.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of DOL-OIG. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian J. Shack.

United States v. Jason Douglas, Case No. 16-CR-60308-Bloom

On October 28, 2016, Jason Douglas, 26, of New York, was charged in a three-count indictment with possessing fifteen or more unauthorized and counterfeit access devices and aggravated identity theft.

to the allegations contained in the indictment, on or about April 16, 2016, Douglas unlawfully possessed fifteen or more social security numbers issued to other persons and debit cards encoded with account numbers issued to other persons. Douglas also unlawfully possessed and used the names, date of births and social security numbers of other persons, without their permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of IRS-CI and the Broward County Sherriff’s Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian J. Shack.

United States v. Jerry Jean Baptiste and Stanley Auguste, Case No. 16-CR-20934-Cooke

On December 15, 2016, Jerry Jean Baptiste, 22, of Miami, and Stanley Auguste, 25, of Miami Gardens, were charged in a nine-count indictment with conspiracy to possess fifteen or more unauthorized access devices, possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices, and aggravated identity theft.

to the allegations contained in the indictment, from April 24, 2015 through August 5, 2015, Baptiste and Auguste conspired to possess unlawfully fifteen or more social security numbers issued to other persons. On or about April 30, 2015, Baptiste possessed and sold electronic files containing lists of PII of various individuals, including social security numbers issued to fifteen or more individuals. On or about May 6, 2015, and again on August 5, 2015, Baptiste and Auguste possessed and sold electronic files containing lists of PII, including fifteen or more social security numbers. Baptiste and Auguste possessed and used the names, social security numbers, and dates of birth of real individuals, without permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John P. Gonsoulin.

ACCESS DEVICE FRAUD

United States v. Alexey Abreu Chapotin, et al., Case No. 17-CR-20043-Lenard

January 24, 2017, Alexey Abreu Chapotin, 22, Yankiel Blanco, 34, and Yuliesky Cespedes Perez, 26, all of Miami, were charged in a two-count indictment for conspiracy to commit access device fraud and possession of device making equipment.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, on August 16, 2016, Chapotin, Blanco and Perez possessed credit card “skimming” devices, drills, and other equipment which was used to modify the skimmers so that they could be surreptitiously installed onto credit card readers at gas pumps. The indictment further alleges that on August 16, 2016, the defendants installed one of these card “skimming” devices at a pump at the gas station, in order to capture customer credit card account information.

Mr. Ferrer commends ICE-HSI and the Aventura Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne P. McNamara.

United States v. Omar Pulido Sanchez, et al., Case No. 17-mj-2112-JJO

On January 27, 2017, Omar Pulido Sanchez, 38, Uriel Pulido Sanchez, 42, and Maria Castillo Sarmiento, all of Colombia, were charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to possess fifteen or more access devices and conspiracy to possess access device making equipment.

According to the allegations contained in the complaint, in June of 2016, the defendants installed credit card skimming devices onto bank ATMs throughout South Florida. In total, the defendants stole the bank account information of at least three hundred victims, and of those three hundred victims, over sixty reported fraudulent withdrawals from their accounts.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the MDPD. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. Marcet.

United States v. Rene Hernandez, Case No. 17-mj-2111-O’Sullivan

On January 27, 2017, Rene Hernandez, 57, of Miami, was charged by criminal complaint for possession of access device making equipment.

According to the allegations contained in the complaint, on April 5, 2016, Hernandez was found by law enforcement to be in possession of a magnetic stripe encoding device, multiple fuel pump credit card skimming devices, and several counterfeit credit cards in his own name.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the MDPD. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. Marcet.

United States v. Cesar Castillo Vargas, Case No. 17-mj-6040-O’Sullivan

On January 27, 2017, Cesar Castillo Vargas, 37, of Colombia, was charged by criminal complaint with possession of access device making equipment.

According to the allegations contained in the complaint, on August 1, 2016, law enforcement found Castillo Vargas in possession of a magnetic strip encoder device, a fraudulent Colombian driver license, a fraudulent Mexican passport, and several blank credit or debit cards.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the MDPD. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. Marcet.

United States v. Oberto Jean, Case No. 17-CR-20082-Scola

On January 27, 2017, Oberto Jean, 35, of Miami, Florida, was charged in a five-count indictment with possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices, possession of access device-making equipment, aggravated identity theft, and being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.

to the allegations contained in the indictment, on or about February 11, 2015, Jean unlawfully possessed access device-making equipment and fifteen or more social security numbers belonging to other persons. Jean unlawfully possessed and used the date of births and social security numbers of other persons, without their permission or authority. Jean, a convicted felon, also possessed two firearms and ammunition.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of IRS-CI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Miami Police Department (MPD). This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian J. Shack.

United States v. Anthony Reid, Case No. 16-CR-60307-Dimitrouleas

On October 28, 2016, Anthony Reid, 22, of Miami, was charged in a four-count indictment with possessing access device-making equipment, fifteen or more unauthorized and counterfeit access devices, and aggravated identity theft.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, on April 16, 2016, Reid unlawfully possessed access device-making equipment, social security numbers issued to other persons, and counterfeit credit cards and debit cards encoded with account numbers issued to other persons.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of IRS-CI and the Broward County Sherriff’s Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian J. Shack.

United States v. Luis Perez Luis and Jose Luis Perez, Case No. 17-CR-20087-Altonaga

On January 27, 2017, Luis Perez Luis, 57, and Jose Luis Perez, 33, both of Miami, were charged in an eight-count indictment with aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to possess fifteen or more access devices, possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices, and possession of device making equipment

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, on August 31, 2016, Luis and Perez conspired to possess and possessed fifteen or more counterfeit credit cards and credit card account numbers issued to other persons, as well as access device making equipment.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the MDPD and USSS. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Langley.

United States v. Patrick Gaston Sebastian, Case No. 17-CR-20030-Williams

On January 20, 2017, Patrick Gaston Sebastian, 21, of Miami, Florida, was charged in a four-count indictment with aggravated identity theft, possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices and possession of device making equipment.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, on July 1, 2016, Sebastian possessed fifteen or more social security numbers and credit card account numbers issued to other persons as well as a credit card embosser and credit card skimmer. Sebastian also unlawfully possessed and used the names and the date of births of other persons, without their permission or authority.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of MDPD and USSS. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Langley.

United States v. Luis Fernando Casallas Guzman, Case No. 17-CR-20022-Scola

On January 13, 2017, Luis Fernando Casallas Guzman, 61, of Colombia, was charged in a two-count indictment with possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices and possession of device making equipment.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, on March 12, 2015, Guzman possessed fifteen or more counterfeit credit cards and credit card account numbers of other individuals as well as a credit card skimmer and magnetic stripe encoder.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Langley.

     If convicted of the charged conduct, the defendants face a possible maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison for possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices; 10 years in prison for trafficking in or using one or more unauthorized access devices during a one-year period and by such conduct obtaining anything of value over $1,000; 5 years in prison for theft of mail; 10 years in prison for theft of government money; 5 in prison for conspiracy to commit theft of government money; 5 years in prison for conspiracy to defraud the United States; 15 years in prison for possession of access device making equipment; 20 years in prison for participating in a wire fraud conspiracy; 5 years in prison for conspiracy to pass Treasury checks bearing forged endorsements; and 2 years in prison consecutive to any other term for aggravated identity theft.

     Mr. Ferrer commends ATF, the Aventura Police Department, Broward County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Davie Police Department, DOL-OIG, FBI , Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Homestead Police Department, ICE-HSI, IRS-CI, Lauderhill Police Department, Margate Police Department, Miami Beach Police Department, MDPD Professional Compliance Bureau and Public Corruption Section, Miami-Dade County Office of the Inspector General, Miami-Dade Public Schools Police Department, Miramar Police Department, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, MPD, NMBPD, Stamford Connecticut Police Department, State of Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, SSA-OIG, TIGTA, USDA-OIG, USPIS, USSS, for the investigative support they provide the Strike Force to combat fraud schemes throughout the Southern District of Florida.

     A criminal complaint or an indictment is an accusatory instrument that contains formal charges against a defendant. All persons charged in a criminal complaint or indictment are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 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.

Topic(s): 
Identity Theft
Updated January 31, 2017