If a person is described as “die-hard,” it generally means that they are loyal and committed to a cause. A positive description might include a fan that never misses a game and supports a team whether they win or lose. The Suncoast News reports on a story of a “die-hard” fraudster with a very long rap sheet, who was pursuing a life of crime until he was caught using Veterans’ stolen medical record information to file bogus tax returns.

The article states that the 43-year-old fraudster was actually a convicted killer, who also had convictions for aggravated battery on a pregnant woman, robbery and drug offenses. (This sounds like a pretty dangerous guy.) In fact, his latest arrest came after reports of the smell of marijuana was noted at a Tampa hotel, where he was staying. While searching his room, investigators found evidence of tax fraud, including debit cards and records from the local Veterans Hospital.

As you might suspect, this criminal did not accomplish his deceitful acts alone. He had two co-conspirators who helped him to obtain the Veterans’ medical records and file bogus tax returns under the unsuspecting victims’ tax ID numbers. Investigators are still pursuing the person who worked at the Veterans Hospital and allegedly sold the medical records.

The fraudster was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in federal prison. (Is that all? This guy is a repeat felon.) One codefendant was sentenced to three years and one month in prison, while the other one has not been sentenced yet.

The story reports that the defendant accepted responsibility for his actions and was remorseful at his sentencing hearing. (I wonder if he was remorseful for his prior criminal acts as well. If so, would you think he would stop his criminal behavior?) What is shocking in this case is the blatant use of fraud against our nation’s military personnel, who put their lives in harm’s way to protect even the lives of those who seek to victimize them through fraudulent activities. Criminal habits die hard, and it is questionable whether prison time will prevent this fraudster from striking again.

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