Fraudsters are using increasingly sophisticated tactics to manipulate personal details about others for personal gain. (Their modus operandi is all about enjoying life at the expense of their victims.) An identity thief from Jacksonville, Florida took a three-year long joyride with the personal identification information of five victims. It took the collective efforts of the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Marshals Service to put the brakes on this criminal’s identity theft scam, effectively ending his thrill ride.
Today’s fraudster began his fraud journey by claiming to be a former member of the U.S. Army. He used the Social Security numbers of his first two victims to open a bank account, obtain a loan and multiple credit cards from the U.S. Automobile Association (USAA). One of the victims was a lawyer from Seattle, Washington. (I’m guessing he would not have chosen that particular victim if he had known their profession. I’m sure that backfired on him later.) Through the credit card accounts, he used associated convenience checks to withdraw thousands of dollars from the USAA bank account for his own personal use.
The identity thief obtained a genuine Florida driver’s license and used his third victim, a doctor from Texas, to obtain two fraudulent loans worth more than $148,000. He wired money to yet another bank account – a business account – in the name of a medical data company he incorporated in Florida. Using the same identity, the fraudster picked up a few additional loans from a financial services company, then wired the proceeds to the business bank account set up for the false medical data company. (He also set up a personal bank account in the victim’s name and began transferring money from the business account to the personal account.)
By this checkpoint, the fraudster was cruising along in the fast lane. (He took the scenic route after making some large cash withdrawals and purchasing some luxury items for himself, including a $70,000 automobile.) It was about this time he used the identity of a fourth victim to obtain an apartment, then another Florida driver’s license using the identity of his fifth victim.
About two years after he left on his extensive road trip to defraud, he took a detour, using the proceeds from his alleged crimes to travel outside of the United States. He stayed at expensive hotels, purchased expensive personal items, and spent more than $4,000 while visiting a club. (What he didn’t know is that his gas tank was just about on empty.) By travelling out of the country, he violated the federal supervised release he was under after he had received a previous federal conviction for fraud and identity theft related charges. (This wasn’t his first loop around the fraud block.)
This is where the U.S. Secret Service put up a road block and coordinated with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Marshals Service to arrest the joyrider at the Orlando International Airport for violating the terms of his supervised release. (He got arrested on the way back into the U.S. for much worse than a speeding ticket.)
The 53-year-old Jacksonville man was sentenced to 41 years in prison for aggravated identity theft, bank fraud, false representation of a Social Security number, mail fraud and violating his federal supervised release. The court also ordered him to pay restitution to his victims. This fraudster is about to experience something much worse than a traffic jam or bad accident. The federal government is now his own personal back seat driver. (They will be telling him what to do for the next four decades as he learns how to follow their rules.)
Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Man sentenced to prison for aggravated identity theft, fraud charges, officials say,” posted on news4jax.com on March 23, 2018.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville man has been sentenced to federal prison for aggravated identity theft and fraud charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.
Officials with the U.S. attorney’s office said Anthony Johnson, 53, was sentenced to 41 years in federal prison for aggravated identity theft, bank fraud, false representation of a Social Security number, mail fraud and violating his federal supervised release.