Pointing the Finger at Fraud

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Human fingerprints have been used to positively identify criminals for centuries. The failsafe method proved useful again when fingerprints were recently used to positively identify a fraudster from Idaho who tried to commit passport fraud.

According to the U.S. Marshals Service, fingerprints are an infallible way to identify a person. (While other personal characteristics may change with time, fingerprints do not, so it’s a perfect way to tell if someone is who they say they are.)

The 50-year-old man in today’s case used the name and personal information of another person to obtain a U.S. passport, but used a photo of himself. (Maybe he was pretending to be James Bond.)

After becoming aware of the man’s fraudulent activities, law enforcement officials arrived on his doorstep and questioned him. He denied his true identity and was subsequently arrested. (When law enforcement officials come knocking on your door, it would be a good idea to tell the truth.)

The man finally admitted his true identity when fingerprinted. (It’s a good idea to be honest after getting caught in a lie.) The fraudster was sentenced to 26 months in prison and three years of supervised release for making a false statement on a passport application and aggravated identity theft. Congratulations to federal, state and local investigators who worked together to point out and successfully prosecute this criminal for his illegal acts.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on a Department of Justice press release entitled, ”North Idaho Man Sentenced for Passport Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft,” dated October 12, 2016.

COEUR D’ALENE – Kevin John Weinreis, 50, of Tensed, Idaho was sentenced yesterday for making a false statement in a passport application and aggravated identity theft, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill sentenced Weinreis to 26 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Weinreis pleaded guilty on July 28, 2016.

According to the plea agreement, in November 2014, Weinreis falsely used the name and identifying information of another person to obtain a United States passport bearing his photograph. In January 2016, law enforcement became aware of this passport fraud. A Deputy United States Marshal and a Benewah County Sheriff’s Deputy went to Weinreis’ Tensed residence and interviewed him. Weinreis denied his true identity and was arrested. He later admitted who he was after being fingerprinted.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.