Five individuals have been charged with coordinating an identify-theft and fraud scheme targeting service members, their dependents, and veterans. The defendants are alleged to have used the stolen personal identifying information (PII) of thousands of military members to access Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs benefits sites and steal millions of dollars.
The defendants’ identity-theft and fraud scheme began in 2014 when Fredrick Brown allegedly stole thousands of military members’ PII, including names, dates of birth, social security numbers, and Department of Defense identification numbers. He is alleged to have then provided the stolen information to Robert Boling, Jr., who exploited the information in various ways together with his Philippines-based co-defendants Allan Kerr and Jongmin Seok. Boling, Kerr, and Seok specifically used the stolen information to compromise a Department of Defense portal designed to enable military members to access benefits information online. Once through the portal, the defendants are alleged to have accessed benefits information. Access to these detailed records enabled the defendants to steal or attempt to steal millions of dollars from military members’ bank accounts. The defendants also stole veterans’ benefits payments. After the defendants had compromised military members’ bank accounts and veterans’ benefits payments, Boling allegedly worked with Trorice Crawford to recruit individuals who would accept the deposit of stolen funds into their bank accounts and then send the funds through international wire remittance services to the defendants and others.