On November 7, 2022, Anthony Silva, 37, of Hampton, pleaded guilty in federal court to wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and mail. A little credit card fraud, a few fraudulent unemployment claims. Seemed cut and dry. But in March of 2022, Silva withdrew his plea citing “ineffective assistance of counsel.” More like Silva just didn’t want to hear counsel tell him to stop committing fraud. Because while waiting for sentencing, it was discovered how much more fraud Silva had actually committed. Over $1 million more than originally known.
In total Silva had orchestrated four separate fraud schemes using stolen identities. Silva used over fifty stolen names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and other identifiers to in his schemes and had obtained fraudulent licenses with his image to aid in the fraud. Starting with fraudulently filing unemployment insurance benefits from Vermont and Massachusetts, which were enhanced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Silva obtained more than $400,000 from Vermont and over $150,000 from Massachusetts, which prosecutors say was “one of the largest unemployment insurance thefts in New Hampshire history.” Using those same identities, Silva also fraudulently opened 15 different credit cards from American Express. Heck let’s really ruin these victims’ lives. And then finally, Silva fraudulently filed and obtaining more than $600,000 in loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Silva made it look like he was a philanthropist at heart as fraudsters often do. He deposited all his illicitly gained funds into one of 32 different trust accounts, which were in the names of purported charitable causes. The names of the trusts included Peaceful Protesters Bail Fund Trust, Trans Diversity Alliance Trust, Resist Trumpism Trust and BLM New England Trust. The “Peaceful Protesters Bail Fund Trust” be useful for Silva right about now.
Great job by both U.S. Department of Labor and the Small Business Association in working together.
Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “Hampton man faces new million-dollar identity fraud scheme charges” published by Hampton Union on December 28, 2023
HAMPTON — A local man is facing new charges of stealing more than a million dollars in four schemes — including one where he allegedly filed fake unemployment claims in two states on behalf of 54 people.
Anthony M. Silva, 39, was indicted on Dec. 20 by a federal grand jury on 10 counts of wire fraud, three counts of mail fraud, and eight counts of aggravated identity theft. He is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court Jan. 8.