A Die Hard Criminal

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If a person is described as ”die-hard,” it generally means that they are loyal and committed to a cause. A positive description might include a fan that never misses a game and supports a team whether they win or lose. The Suncoast News reports on a story of a ”die-hard” fraudster with a very long rap sheet, who was pursuing a life of crime until he was caught using Veterans’ stolen medical record information to file bogus tax returns.

The article states that the 43-year-old fraudster was actually a convicted killer, who also had convictions for aggravated battery on a pregnant woman, robbery and drug offenses. (This sounds like a pretty dangerous guy.) In fact, his latest arrest came after reports of the smell of marijuana was noted at a Tampa hotel, where he was staying. While searching his room, investigators found evidence of tax fraud, including debit cards and records from the local Veterans Hospital.

As you might suspect, this criminal did not accomplish his deceitful acts alone. He had two co-conspirators who helped him to obtain the Veterans’ medical records and file bogus tax returns under the unsuspecting victims’ tax ID numbers. Investigators are still pursuing the person who worked at the Veterans Hospital and allegedly sold the medical records.

The fraudster was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in federal prison. (Is that all? This guy is a repeat felon.) One codefendant was sentenced to three years and one month in prison, while the other one has not been sentenced yet.

The story reports that the defendant accepted responsibility for his actions and was remorseful at his sentencing hearing. (I wonder if he was remorseful for his prior criminal acts as well. If so, would you think he would stop his criminal behavior?) What is shocking in this case is the blatant use of fraud against our nation’s military personnel, who put their lives in harm’s way to protect even the lives of those who seek to victimize them through fraudulent activities. Criminal habits die hard, and it is questionable whether prison time will prevent this fraudster from striking again.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Man Gets Prison for Committing Tax Fraud with Vets’ Stolen Medical Records,” written by Elaine Silvestrini and published in The Suncoast News on March 31, 2014.

TAMPA — A convicted killer who used stolen veterans’ medical records to commit tax fraud was sentenced Monday to 7 1⁄2 years in federal prison Monday.

Alexander Lenox was arrested after Tampa police investigated the smell of marijuana at a room at the Motel 6 on East Fowler Avenue May 17, 2011. Inside, investigators found marijuana and evidence of tax fraud, including debit cards and records from James A. Haley Veterans Hospital. Many of the records were stamped as being from the hospital’s prosthetics unit, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Sweeney.

 

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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.