Four People Charged in Stolen Identity Fraud and Money Laundering Scheme Targeting Banks and COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Funds
A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy pled guilty today, before United States District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks, to providing personally identifying information to another individual who used that information in an identity theft scheme.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Mark Selby, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Sean Scheller, Chief, Town of Lantana Police Department, Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and Ric Bradshaw, Sheriff, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, made the announcement.
Frantz Felisma, 42, of Boynton Beach, a deputy with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, pled guilty to access device fraud in connection with the identity theft scheme, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(2) and aggravated identity theft Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A(a)(1) (Case No. 17-CR-80008). Felisma faces a mandatory minimum of two years’ imprisonment, to run consecutive to any other term of imprisonment imposed, as to the aggravated identity theft charge; and a maximum of ten years’ imprisonment as to the access device fraud charge. Felisma is scheduled to be sentenced on June 7, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. before Judge Middlebrooks.
According to the court record, over the span of approximately eighteen months, Deputy Felisma used his police department issued laptop computer to access a law enforcement database in order to obtain personally identifying information (PII) belonging to numerous individuals. Felisma sold this information to his co-conspirator, who then used the identities of at least 15 of these victims to set up credit card and bank accounts, stealing tens of thousands of dollars in the names of the victims. Felisma’s criminal conduct caused over $135,000 in financial losses.
Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI, the Lantana Police Department, IRS-CI and Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Lauren Jorgensen and Rinku Tribuiani.
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.