The Tables Have Turned

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Correctional officers have the job of monitoring people who are incarcerated in local, state or federal correctional institutions. Because they are responsible for tracking the activities of these individuals, they often have access to personal information through facility databases. An article posted on Miami.CBSLocal.com tells about one correctional officer in Florida who used his position to steal the identities of inmates in order to file fraudulent income tax returns.

The story states that for more than three years, the correctional officer was able to obtain the personal identification information of current and former prisoners by cutting and pasting data from a correctional facility database. He used the personal information to file 182 bogus tax returns, requesting a total of more than $500,000 in tax refunds. (The article does not state whether or not he was able to collect any of the refunds.)The 26-year-old former prison guard pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft for his illegal actions. He will serve more than four years in jail as a result.

This case just goes to prove that fraudsters don’t discriminate when choosing victims — they can be living or dead, wealthy or poor and imprisoned or free. (All that matters is that they have an identity worth stealing.) It looks like the tables have now turned and this fraudster now finds himself on the inside of a jail cell instead of guarding one.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Corrections Officer Gets Prison for Inmate Fraud,” posted on Miami.CBSLocal.com on October 5, 2014.

TAMPA (CBSMiami/AP) — The tables have turned and a Florida corrections officer found himself on the other side of the bars for a tax fraud scheme in which he acknowledged stealing inmates’ identities.

U.S. District Judge James Moody sentenced 26-year-old Jerry St. Fleur to more than four years behind bars. St. Fleur pleaded guilty in July to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.