Busy Bee

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51517785 - padlock and social security card - identity theft and identity protection concept

Fraudsters are somewhat lazy because they take short cuts to amass wealth; however, that does not mean they are not industrious when pursuing their victims. A Jacksonville, Florida man was quite a busy bee when it came to orchestrating several fraudulent schemes involving identity theft and Social Security fraud. Thanks to his multiple victims, he was able to live a lifestyle of luxury and adventure, if only for a while.

Evidence presented in court showed that the Floridian falsely claimed to be a former member of the U.S. Army. Then, he acquired the Social Security numbers of two victims. (One was a lawyer from Seattle, Washington. I guess he didn’t think of the ramifications of messing with a lawyer before he stole the man’s identity.) He used the personal identification number from the two victims to open a bank account, obtain a loan, and acquire multiple credit cards from the United Services Automobile Association (USAA). (This company serves military members and their families, so this criminal must have provided some pretty convincing information to prove that he had served in the military.) Further research revealed that today’s fraudster then used multiple convenience checks linked to the illegally acquired credit cards to withdraw thousands of dollars from the USAA bank account.

The 52-year-old criminal’s next ruse involved obtaining a Florida driver’s license using the identity of a Texas doctor. With this information, he obtained two loans totaling nearly $150,000 from a healthcare company and wired it into another bank account under the name of a fake medical data company he had incorporated in Florida. (He also used the doctor’s identity to sign up for more loans from another financial institution and wired the proceeds to the same bank account.)

And, that’s not all folks. The man used another victim’s name to set up a personal bank account at yet another financial institution and started funneling money from the business account into the personal account. (Then, he made large cash withdrawals to purchase luxury items, including a $70,000 Mercedes Benz.)

Next, victim number four enabled the fraudster to rent an apartment. And, last but not least, victim number five was used to obtain another Florida driver’s license. Perhaps he feared that he was getting close to being caught, so he used the proceeds from his criminal activity to travel to Dubai for two months. (While there, he spent more than $4,000 at a club/restaurant, stayed at a high-end hotel, and spent a lot of money on personal items.) The party ended when he touched down at Orlando International Airport, where U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were waiting.

The Floridian fraudster was convicted of identity theft and Social Security fraud by a federal jury. At his sentencing, he is facing a minimum prison sentence of 18 years for aggravated identity theft, a maximum of 270 years behind bars for bank fraud, a maximum of 35 years for Social Security fraud, and up to 60 years for mail fraud. (You don’t have to be a math genius to know that he’s probably going to be behind bars for quite a while.) While the sentencing date has not been set yet, it’s a sure bet that the sting of the judge’s decision on this busy bee’s fate is probably going to hurt.

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Federal jury convicts Jacksonville man after identity theft, fraud scheme,” published by the Florida Times-Union on October 20, 2017.

A federal jury convicted a 52-year-old Jacksonville man this week of several charges stemming from an identity theft scheme that involved bank and Social Security fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Anthony Johnson is guilty of nine counts of aggravated identity theft, nine counts of bank fraud, seven counts of false representation of a Social Security number and three counts of mail fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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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.