Too Much Time on Their Hands


It’s reasonable to think that if teenagers get involved in after-school activities such as sports, clubs or a part-time job, they’ll be more likely to stay out of trouble. An article published by the South Florida Business Journal explains how two teenagers stayed pretty busy, but got into trouble over running a successful identity fraud ring that involved more than 600 victims.

The story states that an investigation was opened up after a woman complained that an unemployment compensation claim had been filed on her behalf without her knowledge or permission. The unemployment benefits were tracked back to an IP address associated to a Miami residence where two teenage brothers resided.

When a search warrant was executed, personal identification information including drivers’ license numbers, dates of birth and phone numbers for more than 250 people was discovered. (Court records state that agents also found debit cards and unemployment insurance debit cards at the residence.)

The two brothers were found guilty on identity theft and unemployment insurance fraud charges. The now 20-year-old and 19-year-old brothers will serve nine years and 12 years, respectively, in prison for their crimes. They also were ordered to pay $815,700 in restitution.

These two former teens were sentenced as adults for their crimes and now will be faced with a ton of time on their hands. (At least they will be supervised while behind bars.) Let’s hope that these young adults will figure out a better way to keep busy after they get out of jail.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Miami Brothers Sentenced for identity Theft and Unemployment Insurance Fraud,” written by Nina Lincoff and published by South Florida Business Journal on January 9, 2015.

Miami brothers Stanley Fertil and Steven Fertil were sentenced to more than nine and 12 years in prison, respectively, after being found guilty on charges of identity theft and unemployment insurance fraud.

Stanley, 20, and Steven, 19, were also ordered to pay $815,700 in restitution. The Fertils’ sentence was entered into the court records Thursday.

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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.