St. Lucie County Resident Sentenced in Identity Theft Scheme
A St. Lucie County resident was sentenced to 70 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.
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), and Ken J. Mascara, Sheriff, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, made the announcement.
Patrick J. Ward previously pled guilty to one count of possessing fifteen or more access devices and one count of aggravated identity theft.
According to court documents, during a search warrant of Ward’s residence, law enforcement recovered two notebooks, 4 apartment applications, 55 Lexis automobile printouts, and 43 printouts of inmate information from the Florida Department of Corrections that contained a total of 572 other individuals’ names and social security numbers. Ward purchased the notebooks for $200, and obtained the Lexis customer information printouts from an employee who worked at Lexis on US l in Fort Pierce. Ward paid the Lexis employee about $80 worth of oxycodone pills for the printouts that she accessed and printed from a work computer located at her office.
According to court documents, a cell mate of Ward’s was interested in buying any social security numbers that Ward could come across to be used to prepare false tax returns. Ward admitted that he bought all the notebooks and papers to resell for profit.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI and the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Courtney L. Coker.
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 http://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 http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.