Cannon Ball

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Online thieves stealing your money

Some fraudsters dip their toe in the proverbial fraud pool before jumping in. They’ll dabble in something small before gaining confidence to pull off larger and more complicated fraud schemes. Jeurin Celado, a Dominican national, went all in. You could say that he did a cannon ball into the deep end of the fraud pool by committing aggravated identity theft, healthcare fraud and conspiracy to distribute fentanyl. (Let’s just say, he made a very big splash.) 

Between August 2014 and July 2018, the 31-year-old man was involved in a variety of things to include controlling a drug stash house, trading fentanyl, and using a stolen identity to obtain Rhode Island permits and driver’s licenses. He also used the same identity to apply for and receive $4,726.50 in Medicaid benefits he did not qualify to receive.

In addition to these fraudulent escapades, Celado was busy dealing drugs. According to court documents, in August and September 2019, undercover drug investigators from the Woonsocket Police Department arranged to make four purchases of fentanyl from a person known as “Tony.” For each purchase, “Tony” sent the buyer to a location where a “runner” delivered the drugs in exchange for cash. (Who do you think “Tony” actually was? This is the point at which Celado’s fraud swan dive turned into a belly flop.)

The Dominican national pleaded guilty to false representation of a Social Security number, aggravated identity theft, health care fraud, and conspiracy to distribute the narcotic, fentanyl. The result was a seven-year sentence in federal prison to be followed by four years of federal supervised release. He’ll also have to pay back $4,726.50 to the Rhode Island Medicaid Program for collecting benefits he didn’t deserve. (It looks like the justice system has thrown him a life raft. Let’s hope he can learn to swim.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from a Department of Justice press release, “Dominican National Sentenced for Trafficking Fentanyl, Health Care Fraud, ID Theft, Misue of a Social Security Number,” dated September 24, 2021.

PROVIDENCE – A Dominican national who operated a drug stash house and arranged for the sale of fentanyl on multiple occasions, and who used the stolen identity and Social Security number of another person to gain Rhode Island Medicaid benefits and Rhode Island driver’s licenses and permits, was sentenced today to seven years in federal prison, announced Acting United States Attorney Richard B. Myrus.

Jeurin Celado, 31, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith to 96 months of incarceration to be followed by four years of federal supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,726.50 to the Rhode Island Medicaid Program. Celado pleaded guilty on April 2, 2021, to false representation of a Social Security number, aggravated identity theft, health care fraud, and conspiracy to distribute fentanyl.

 

 

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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.