Fraud of The Day has regularly emphasized (harped? nagged?) on the importance of protecting personal identities. If fraudsters have access to information like a name, address or better yet a Social Security Number, they are able to commit fraud. Identity thieves and fraudsters can use any piece of personal information to take over accounts, open new accounts, file tax returns or even get medical procedures in someone else’s name. Heck, they can commit murder. And never ruin their own reputation.
In 1988, Lorenzo Antoni Alfred, originally from Trinidad and Tobago, illicitly assumed the identity of a disabled United States veteran in order to enter the United States illegally. A bonus that he could start collecting veteran benefits upon arrival. Using the stolen birth certificate and Social Security card of the veteran, Alfred impersonated the victim for nearly thirty years. He even spent time in jail for murder as the victim.
In 1989, just a year after illegally entering the U.S. under the stolen identity, Alfred was convicted in New York of second-degree murder. During his time in prison, and after his release in 2014, Alfred continued his criminal activities using the stolen identity. He acquired various identity documents, credit cards and government benefits under the victim’s name in both New York and Florida. A surprise twist came in June 2019, when Alfred attempted to fraudulently obtain a passport in the victim’s name. Someone finally questioned who Alfred really was. And on October 3, 2023 was found guilty of fraud of identity theft and veteran benefit fraud.
Excellent job by the U.S. Department of State in vetting this fraudster. An apology to the victim. This victim suffered significant psychological and financial harm as a result of Alfred’s actions, including the temporary loss of government benefits and difficulties obtaining credit in his own name.
Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “Man stole veteran’s identity in 1988, was convicted of murder under his name, feds say” published by the Sacramento Bee on October 4, 2023
Getty A man lived under the name of a disabled U.S. Army veteran for decades and spent 25 years in prison while pretending to be him, federal prosecutors in Florida said. Lorenzo Antoni Alfred, 64, who lives in New York and is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, stole the veteran’s identity in 1988 to “illegally come” to the U.S. and was able to obtain his birth certificate and Social Security card, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.
It’s unclear how Alfred obtained the man’s identification documents. North Lake Tahoe homicide suspect Daniel Serafini extradited from Nevada to Placer County Alfred was convicted of second-degree murder under the veteran’s name in 1989 in New York and wasn’t released from prison until 2014, prosecutors said.