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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Deputy Sentenced to 5 years in Prison for Aggravated Identity Theft

A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy was sentenced today to a total of 60 months in prison by United States District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks after previously admitting to the Court that he had provided 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.

On March 23, 2017, Frantz Felisma, 42, of Boynton Beach, a deputy with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, initially 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, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A(a)(1) (Case No. 17-CR-80008). However, following his plea hearing Felisma moved to withdraw his guilty plea and the matter was set for trial. On June 29, 2017, in advance of the trial date, Felisma re-affirmed his guilt by pleading to the initial charges of conviction. Judge Middlebrooks sentenced Felisma to 36 months in prison for access device fraud and a consecutive term of 24 months in prison for aggravated identity theft. Following his release from incarceration, Felisma will be on supervised release for three years. Felisma was also ordered to pay $175,000 in restitution.

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 between $150,000 and $250,000 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 was 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.

Topic(s): 
Identity Theft
Updated August 1, 2017