Spanish teacher at Lake Roosevelt High School arrested for identity theft-forgery charges www.privateofficer.com
Grand Coulee, WA April 18 2013 A Spanish teacher at Lake Roosevelt High School is in Okanogan County Jail this week, facing charges of forgery and identity theft, after being arrested last Thursday by Coulee Dam police.
Guillermo Guzman has also had a hold placed on him by Border Patrol agents and he will face deportation hearings in Tacoma when he is finished in Okanogan County, according to a jail spokesman.
Guzman was picked up by Coulee Dam police officers along with a Border Patrol agent after a man with a similar name had tried to file for Social Security benefits and was denied because the federal agency’s records showed that he was employed as a teacher in Coulee Dam.
That prompted his call to Coulee Dam police last Tuesday.
Guzman, originally from Mexico, holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Washington and a state teaching certificate. He taught on the west side of the state before coming to Lake Roosevelt in 2008, the only applicant for the Spanish teacher position at the high school.
According to Grand Coulee Dam School District Superintendent Dennis Carlson, Guzman had passed the Washington State Patrol’s background check and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s fingerprint check.
A person who has been doing substitute teaching in the district is taking Guzman’s place at the high school, where he has taught Spanish and world history. Guzman is currently on paid administrative leave until his status is legally determined, Carlson said.
Students at the high school Monday described Guzman as a hard-working teacher who stays hours after school correcting student work and as a man with a big heart who helps others.
They noted Guzman’s absence places a strain on the remaining school staff, with his substitute already having taken over English classes for Brandon Byers, who took an interim principalship at Grand Coulee Dam Middle School in February.
The local Spanish teacher’s arrest occurred just as national attention turns to the debate on immigration reform about to begin in Congress, a debate expected to take months.
A Senate bill introduced Tuesday night would remove the threat of deportation for nearly 12 million people who are currently in the country illegally. It would also make them wait a decade for full citizenship status and make them pay fines and penalties.
In 2013, the United States will limit the number of “preference visas” issued to applicants in any one country to 26,600. The number of people in Mexico on that waiting list is 1,316,118, according a Travel.State.Gov, a website of the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.
2 Maryland men arrested, indicted for manufacturing fake identification documents www.privateofficer.com
Special agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested two men in Maryland Wednesday morning after both were indicted on document fraud related charges.
Read more: http://www.lasvegassun.com
Palm Beach County Health Department Employee Arrested for Stealing Patient Information www.privateofficer.com
Palm Beach Fla Feb 15 2013
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce that Salita St. Simon, 30, of Belle Glade, was arrested today on a charge of identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028(a)(7). If convicted, St. Simon faces up to five years’ imprisonment and three years of supervised release.
According to the criminal complaint and information provided in Court, St. Simon was a senior clerk at the Palm Beach County Health Department (PBCHD) until earlier today. For approximately the last year, St. Simon obtained patient identification information, including patient names and Social Security numbers, from the PBCHD’s computer system and provided that information to her accomplices. These accomplices, in turn, used the information to file fraudulent tax returns seeking the patients’ refunds. Over the last year, St. Simon stole more than 2,800 patients’ information in this way.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and thanked the PBCHD for its substantial assistance in investigating this matter. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Osborne.
A complaint is only an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Tonawanda Walmart manager arrested for stealing a customer’s credit card information www.privateofficer.com
Eric A. Martinez, 23, was arrested June 20 at the Sheridan Drive store.
“A customer noticed some unauthorized charges, and last used (her credit card) at the Bon-Ton store,” Lt. Nick Bado said. “She never got the credit card back from the clerk. It looks like he actually took it from her.”
Bado said Discover representatives contacted the victim and told her there had been suspicious purchases at a few other stores in the area, but it’s unknown exactly what Martinez bought.
The woman called town police and detectives investigated.
“I don’t know exactly how they ended up catching him,” Bado said. “They probably went over there and identified him. Ultimately, he was connected to it.”
Martinez, of Niagara Street, Buffalo, was charged with three counts as a result of the incident — fourth-degree grand larceny, felony identity theft, and misdemeanor identity theft.
Martinez is scheduled to be sentenced for those charges Nov. 29. And on Thursday, he’s expected to appear in North Tonawanda City Court in relation to the incident at Walmart, where he will be arraigned on a charge of third-degree unlawful possession of personal identification.
The small statured man from Puerto Rico was arrested at the newly opened Walmart on Aug. 29 after a Wheatfield man told authorities his credit card company had reported several suspicious charges on the card.
The victim, who lives on Graydon Drive, said he visited the store Aug. 27 to return an item. Martinez, who was a manager in the customer service department, completed the transaction and wrote down the customer’s credit card information during the process.
The victim questioned Martinez as to why he was copying the information down, but Martinez told him he needed it to handle the request. The victim told authorities he didn’t think anything of it at the time.
But on Wednesday, the fraud department at the credit card company called the victim and said there had been multiple charges on the card at retail websites. The victim immediately suspected Martinez.
Niagara County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the store to investigate and the officers’ report states Martinez initially denied the allegations, saying, “I don’t know anything about anyone’s credit cards.
The deputies then consulted with store security and found a video of the transaction in question.
Eventually, Martinez succumbed to detectives’ questions and admitted his actions, the report said.
“OK, yes, I wrote down the customer’s credit card number and security code. … I went home and used the credit card information to buy a few iPhones online,” the report quotes.
The arrest report states Martinez bought the phones from a few different websites and planned on selling them to a store.
He admitted to being arrested “up to eight times before” and stealing another Walmart customer’s credit card information for the same purpose. NT detectives are continuing to investigate the case and Wal-Mart representatives have not returned
Martinez is being held in lieu of $500 bail.
Source: The Tonawanda News
COLUMBIA, S.C. Sept 1 2012— A man stole a physician’s identity and pretended to be a doctor for a year in South Carolina, and now investigators are combing through medical records to see whether he harmed any of the hundreds of patients he treated, authorities said.
Ernest Addo of Austell, Ga., is charged with unlawful practice of medicine and obtaining goods under false pretense, authorities said.
Addo doesn’t have a medical licence in the U.S. But he assumed a doctor friend’s identity, getting a driver’s licence and presenting the massive amount of paperwork needed to prove he was a doctor. The documents were given to him by the friend in hopes they could open a medical clinic together when the real doctor returned from a yearlong trip to Ghana, Lexington County Sheriff James Metts said.
The real doctor, Arthur Kennedy, said he is embarrassed and devastated by what his friend did.
Addo did have some medical training, and acted enough like a doctor not to raise any serious suspicion beyond one nurse — interviewed after Addo’s Aug. 24, arrest — who wondered why he consulted ask.com when she questioned his treatment plan, Metts said.
The motive appears to be greed, the sheriff said. Court documents show Addo has a history of financial trouble.
Records obtained by The Associated Press show in the past 20 years, at least two dozen liens have been filed against Addo for around $200,000, including unpaid rent, credit card bills, student loans and taxes. Addo has declared bankruptcy twice.
After Addo’s arrest last week at his Georgia home, officers found fake IDs and other documents, and Metts said it appears Addo might have tried to fake his way through other lucrative careers, too. The sheriff wouldn’t specify which ones.
“He seems to be a professional con guy,” Metts said.
Authorities have said Addo received more than $10,000 for his services but declined to elaborate. One of the jobs also gave him the use of a Mercedes.
Addo, 48, has been jailed in Cobb County, Ga., since his arrest, and neither the sheriff nor jail officials knew if he had an attorney. Addo is refusing to talk to authorities, and both his home phone and cellphone have been disconnected.
Addo faces more than a decade in prison for his current charges, but he could end up in even more trouble. Metts said his investigators are reviewing the medical records of more than 500 patients Addo saw while at four Columbia-area senior centers and a rehabilitation center owned by Agape Senior Primary Care.
Metts said some of those patients died. He said more charges could follow if any of those deaths were linked to Addo’s actions.
Addo was hired as a general practitioner and provided the kind of exams patients would receive during a visit to the family doctor. Authorities said he also wrote prescriptions, including some for himself.
Officials at Agape are doing their own review of the care patients received from Addo. They said he never had sole clinical oversight of any patient.
“We have found no inappropriate diagnosis or plan of treatment. We are convinced that all of our patients are safe and receiving proper care,” Agape CEO Scott Middleton said in a statement.
Addo also worked as a contract doctor for the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, filling in for a doctor on medical leave. Officials there said they also are reviewing Addo’s care and have not found any serious issues.
Patients treated by Addo could not be located by The Associated Press for comment.
Authorities started investigating Addo after he made a small mistake on a death certificate. South Carolina health officials trying to fix the error contacted the doctor Addo was impersonating. He told them he hadn’t practiced medicine for a year in the state because he was teaching at a medical school in Ghana.
Officials have refused to release that doctor’s name, but Kennedy confirmed his identity was stolen.
Kennedy said he was betrayed by his friend. Addo also obtained credit cards in Kennedy’s name, creating an even bigger mess to clean up, the doctor said Wednesday outside his home in Orangeburg.
He said he didn’t want to answer detailed questions about what happened until he spoke to a lawyer.
Both Kennedy and Addo are from Ghana. Kennedy ran unsuccessfully for president of the west African nation in 2008. He had a family practice in Orangeburg and spent plenty of time in his homeland, pushing for public health improvements. The two men resemble each other, and Addo used Kennedy’s reputation to help get him the doctor jobs. Agape said in a statement it hired him in part because he came highly recommended.
Both Agape and Jackson & Coker, the Alpharetta, Ga., physician recruitment firm that placed Addo with the Department of Mental Health, have promised to help authorities. Metts said it could take months for investigators to go through all the medical records.
Jackson & Coker also is exploring any legal action it could take against Addo and is shocked he was able to obtain all the documents someone would need to prove he was a doctor in the United States, spokeswoman Susan Meyers said.
“He was hired the same way in several different places,” Meyers said. “There were no red flags.”
Three people are charged with having fake documents after a raid at a south Charlotte business.
Tuesday, investigators from the Department of Motor Vehicle searched La Popular Market on South Boulevard.
They said they found license plates, title documents and receipts that were being sold illegally.
Investigators arrested the store’s owner, Felipe De Jesus Chavez.
The investigators raided another business and a home, arresting two more people.
ATLANTA GA Aug 14 2012 (AP) — Two women walked into police precincts around Atlanta, made presentations about insurance benefit packages to groups of officers and walked out with applications filled with personal information in a brazen fraud plot, police said Monday.
Cintia Ximena Pedone-Allou, 30, and Dawnetta Patrice Underwood, 23, both of Maryland, were arrested Friday after having visited multiple police precincts in Atlanta over the previous several days, police said. At least 39 officers and other employees filled out applications, and police believe the women may have also targeted transit police and fire stations.
“Obviously, it’s pretty bold to go into a police precinct and target police officers for this,” Sgt. Paul Cooper said Monday. “Anybody can be fooled, and this is a good example. If they can get us, they can get anybody.”
A man who said he was the women’s supervisor would call the precinct and ask for the watch commander’s name, Cooper said. The man would then call that watch commander and ask if his benefits representatives were there yet. When the women arrived, they would give the desk officer the watch commander’s name and say the commander was expecting them. They would say they were from “employee benefits” and were there to sign people up for enhanced Aflac benefit packages and supplemental insurance and were then allowed to address officers gathered for roll call at the beginning of a shift.
“It was pretty detailed,” Cooper said of the scheme, “detailed enough to convince our officers it was legitimate.”
They targeted evening and early morning shifts, which start at 3 p.m. and 11 p.m., respectively, and police believe that may have been a strategy to avoid hours when human resources staff would have been available if officers or other employees had questions.
The scheme was uncovered when one lieutenant became suspicious because he said the presentation didn’t feel like a normal visit from Aflac, which provides the department’s insurance. The lieutenant kicked the women out of his precinct and contacted the personnel department. Personnel staff called Aflac and found that Aflac had no record of a relationship with the women or Employee Benefits, the Maryland-based company they said they worked for.
The women had left business cards and police reached a man who claimed to be their supervisor, who gave police the women’s cell phone numbers. Police arrested both women and recovered 39 applications. When questioned, the women were evasive and gave inconsistent and conflicting answers, police said.
It’s not entirely clear what the women planned to do with the information they gathered, Cooper said. He said it could be commission fraud, or they could be trying to submit false claims once they established policies or it could just be simple identity theft, he said. In any case, they misrepresented themselves and were not authorized to solicit that information from department employees, he said.
Police have contacted the state of Maryland and are trying to determine the status of the company Employee Benefits, which the women said was an independent insurance company. Police are also working to get information on the man who claimed to be the women’s supervisor and to possibly file charges against him as well.
The women were being held in the Fulton County jail Monday on $55,000 bond each, according to jail records. Police did not know whether they had lawyers.
Charlotte NC Aug 12 2012 A Charlotte woman has been accused in a tax scheme to defraud the government of more than $3.8 million.
In court documents filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, 40-year-old Candida Mayo Figueroa was named as a suspect in the case.
Federal authorities said the U.S. Postal Service intercepted an “extraordinarily large number” of mail from the U.S. Treasury Department that appeared to contain checks going to several apartments close to one another in Charlotte. The Postal Service alerted investigators because the names on the mail were people not known to receive mail at those addresses.
Authorities said much of the mail was sent to homes in the Arrowood Crossing apartment complex in southwest Charlotte and that Figueroa had been seen pulling mail from multiple mailboxes there.
Investigators said they sent five addresses to the Internal Revenue Service, which linked 804 individual income tax returns to those addresses. There was no history of the taxpayers identified on the forms living at the homes listed, authorities said.
The fraudulent returns were filed between January and June, and the total amount of refunds claimed was $3,804,184, according to court documents.
On Wednesday, authorities searched the five homes associated with the scheme, authorities said. At Figueroa’s home, they found notebooks containing names and Social Security numbers, U.S. Treasury checks and a box containing dozens of birth certificates of Mexican origin.
Figueroa is charged with conspiracy to defraud the government. She remained in Mecklenburg jail Saturday.
ATLANTA GA Aug 11 2012 – Atlanta-based Equifax is warning parents that their children’s identities could be especially vulnerable when they go back to school.
It’s the time of year when parents are flooded with forms to fill out for school, sports and other extracurricular activities.
In some cases, you’re asked to provide your child’s social security number and yet have no way of controlling who has access to it.
“The only way to prevent it is by taking very precautionary measures because it is a very vulnerable area,” said Trey Loughran, president of the personal solutions unit at Equifax.
Loughran points to the following statistics:
According to the Federal Trade Commission, the number of reported cases of child identity theft has increased 200% over the last 10 years.
*A study by Carnegie Mellon last year showed one in 10 children have had their social security number compromised.
*Here are some warning signs: your child gets credit card offers in the mail or calls from collection agencies. If your child is turned down for a student loan, that’s another red flag.
“It’s arguably one of the most invisible crimes you can find,” Loughran said. “When a child’s identity is compromised by someone who wants to use it for fraudulent purposes, that might not be uncovered for years and years and years.”
So what can you do now to protect your children?
Loughran said you should avoid carrying your child’s social security card. Instead, lock it up. And think twice before you share the numbers.
“If someone asks for it, ask them why they need it,” he said. “Ask them if there’s not another piece of identification you can give them.”
Loughran said there’s no database listing children’s social security numbers that Equifax or other credit bureaus can use to prevent the problem.
You can run a credit report for your child.
If there’s no match, that usually means no activity, and that’s good news.
Former Radio Shack employee gets 6 1/2 years in federal prison for indentity theft www.privateofficer.com
FORT WORTH TX July 26 2012 – A former Radio Shack customer service representative was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in federal prison Monday for stealing personal information from customers that she used to file fake income tax returns to claim refunds.
Youlanda Rochelle Wright, 37, of Fort Worth was ordered to pay $166,384 in restitution. She pleaded guilty in December to charges of false claims against the United States and identity theft.
Wright, who had been on pretrial release, was taken into custody earlier this month after she violated conditions of her release, one of which was that she not be arrested for another crime. Federal court documents indicate that Wright was arrested by Fort Worth police in June on a charge of theft of $50 to $500, which she did not report to her federal supervising officer.
Wright began working for Radio Shack in the call center in 1999, according to federal authorities. She often received personal information from customers. She admitted that she used that information to file income tax returns in their names to claim refunds.
According to an indictment, Domeen Flowers, 48, of Maitland Florida, used her position with the IRS to make unauthorized computer entries into the IRS’ Integrated Data Retrieval System. Back in 2009, investigators say Flowers gained personal information on a taxpayer who she was renting a house from in Philadelphia. She then allegedly used that information to apply for credits from different credit card companies in the victim’s name.
Flowers was arrested and charged with aggravated identity theft, unauthorized inspection of tax returns and other related offenses. Flowers first appeared at U.S. District Court in Orlando. She was released on bail pending an appearance in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.
If convicted of all charges, Flowers faces a mandatory minimum of two years in prison with a maximum possible sentence of 46 years, maximum fine of $1,254,000, a special assessment of $900 and two years of supervised release.
Fallon and Emmanuel Delacruz of 270 Quarry St. have been charged with identity theft and larceny.
Fallon Delacruz, 25, who also has a Dorchester address, was dismissed from her job after police made her employer aware of the investigation. A police report on file in Quincy District Court says Delacruz worked as a patient financial coordinator.
Mass. Eye and Ear has offered one year of free credit monitoring to potentially affected patients, and sent mail notifications to about 3,600 patients whose Social Security numbers Delacruz was able to access.
“We are saddened and disappointed that this former employee appears to have chosen to violate both our trust and that of our patients,” Mass. Eye and Ear president and CEO John Fernandez said in a statement. “We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and concern caused by this incident.”
The statement said Mass. Eye and Ear has taken steps to further restrict its staff members’ access to complete Social Security numbers, and will regularly reinforce the importance of safeguarding patient information.
Fallon and Emmanuel Delacruz are due back in Quincy District Court court in June and July for pretrial hearings.
Quincy District Court issued a criminal complaint against them last month, but they failed to appear in court to be arraigned. Warrants were issued for both, and they were arrested in Quincy and Boston on April 21 and April 27 and later arraigned.
Both are charged with three counts of identity fraud and three counts of larceny over $250 by false impersonation.
John F. Stevens, listed in court documents as attorney for Emmanuel Delacruz, could not be reached for comment.
The Quincy police investigation began in January when a West Boylston woman reported that she had received notice from a collection agency that she owed $1,529 in past-due electric bills. The bills were in her name, but listed the address of the Quarry Street apartment building where Delacruz was later found to be living.
The West Boylston woman told police she never lived in Quincy and never opened an account with a Quincy address. She said National Grid told her that her Social Security number had been used to open the account, which was active from January to April before being closed.
Detective Tom Pepdjonovic of the Quincy Police Department determined Emmanuel and Fallon Delacruz were leasing the Quincy apartment that was listed on the West Boylston woman’s bill, and that National Grid had no record of people named Delacruz living at
According to a police report, National Grid said it had four names listed as customers at the Quincy apartment, including that of the West Boylston woman.
Pepdjonovic spoke with two other people National Grid had listed at the address, one a Connecticut resident and the other a New Hampshire resident, the police report states.
“(T)he only similarity I noticed was that they were both patients at Mass. Eye & Ear at some point in their lives,” Pepdjonovic wrote in the report. “I re-contacted (the West Boylston woman) and asked her if she was ever a patient of Mass. Eye & Ear before and she informed me that (she) has been.”
Police allege that Emmanuel Delacruz participated with his sister in the scam, which was designed to avoid paying for electricity by having National Grid send bills to other addresses.
Police said when the bills were not paid, the false account would be closed and a new one opened with a different person’s information.
SEATTLE WA May 11 2012 – Dozens of Seattle University students nearly became felons after Homeland Security got wind of a massive fake ID buy at the school.
College students in the market for a fake ID no longer have to go into a back room with a lamination machine and a bad photo. There’s much easier ways now, but 65 Seattle University students recently came to realize that the easy way isn’t always the right way.
Finding a website that sells fake IDs online has become easier and easier as technology has involved. But just as students are using the Internet to break the law, law enforcement is using it to catch them.
That’s what happened last month, when Homeland Security officers tracked a package from China heading to Seattle.
“That contained suspicious item that turned out to be fraudulent driver’s licenses,” said Michael Sletten, the school’s Campus Safety Coordinator.
A single student brought at least 64 other friends together for a massive fake ID buying binge.
“They were being shipped to a residence hall here on campus,” Sletten said.
Homeland Security carefully watched the delivery and helped the school catch the students.
“A lot of people got busted,” said student AJ Reza.
Even with all the negative attention, classmates say fake IDs are a part of the culture.
“Two thirds of my friends have fake Ids,” said freshman Katarina Juarez.
The problem of fake IDs on college campuses is far from a new thing, but the web has made it much easier to get closer to the real thing.
“But it’s harder at the same time because you have to be really careful to make sure that it looks legit,” Reza said.
The 65 students could have ended up as felons for importing fake IDs from overseas. In the end, Customs and Border Protection decided to let the school fine and sanction the students instead of making a federal case out of it.
The school couldn’t reveal the exact punishment for each student, but they included community service, fines, suspensions and writing research papers about forgery.
Waukesha County WI May 10 2012 A 22-year-old Kohl’s Credit Center employee is facing felony charges after she used her position to steal personal identification of a customer in order to apply for her own credit cards and loans.
Jymea L. Holmes was charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court Thursday with five counts of identity theft for financial gain. If convicted, she faces up to 30 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint:
In October 2011, a Brooklyn, New York woman contacted police after she discovered someone had applied for credit cards and a loan using her name and the attempts were made from a location in Menomonee Falls. Although the woman’s name and other information was used, Holmes’ address was listed to the applications.
Holmes told police she worked in the credit center and had assisted the victim in September 2011, when she decided to write down all of the woman’s personal identification and use it to apply for credit cards.
Holmes will make her initial appearance in court June 18.
Broward Fla May 9 2012 A U.S. Marine from North Miami was arrested Tuesday on charges of selling the stolen identities of dozens of fellow soldiers in Afghanistan to a Broward County woman recently convicted of filing false income-tax returns in their names.
Jobson Cenor, a 2007 graduate of North Miami Senior High, was arrested at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina by agents for the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
His case is the latest twist among an ever-growing number of tax-fraud schemes prosecuted in South Florida.
Cenor, 22, is accused of selling the names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers of fellow Marines to Dorothy Boulin, a Coral Springs woman convicted in a related case of seeking to collect tens of thousands of dollars in the names of Marines and other tax-fraud victims.
Boulin told FBI agents that she and Cenor “agreed to split the proceeds from the fraudulent filings,” according to a criminal complaint.
Based at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan, Cenor used his Apple iPad to send text messages and emails to Boulin with the names of other Marines in December and January, according to a criminal complaint. He called himself “CJ Da Boss” in most of the correspondence.
When NCIS agents did a search of Cenor’s quarters at Camp Leatherneck, they seized a list containing the names and Social Security numbers of 44 U.S. Marines, according to the criminal complaint. Of those, 21 were on lists found by FBI agents in Boulin’s residence when they arrested her in February.
Boulin, 29, pleaded guilty in April to stealing the identities of several Marines and committing fraud in her scheme to dupe the Internal Revenue Service into sending her tax refunds on pre-paid debit cards. She faces up to 22 years in prison.
Boulin, who cooperated with authorities as part of a plea agreement, led the FBI to Cenor. At the FBI’s direction, in February she spoke to Cenor by phone in Creole, discussing how she had started filing some of the tax returns using the “identities” provided by Cenor, according to the criminal complaint.
Boulin told Cenor that some of the names were rejected by the IRS. Of those accepted, she said, Cenor “was going to get half of the tax refund money, or approximately $54,000,” the complaint said.
“Cenor said [Boulin] could hold the money until Cenor returned from Afghanistan.”
Now in custody, Cenor is expected to be transferred to Miami federal court to face charges of fraud.
In her plea agreement, Boulin admitted she “received a list of military personnel” serving in the Marines from someone identified only as “C.J.” in a court document. The list included the soldiers’ personal data.
At her home computer, Boulin used an electronic IRS number — normally issued to legitimate tax preparers — to file false returns in the names of at least 14 people, including “several” Marines serving in Afghanistan, according to the document. The bogus returns, processed in January with an online tax-filing company called OLT PRO, sought about $54,000 in refunds from the IRS, which assisted with the investigation.
The FBI infiltrated Boulin’s operation using a confidential informant who pretended to prepare tax refunds with her, according to court records.
Boulin provided the informant with more than 100 photocopies of stolen driver licenses and Social Security cards, as well as printouts of more than 200 names, birth dates and Social Security numbers.
Boulin expected to be paid 20 percent of the money that the informant would obtain from filing the bogus returns using a tax software program.
The Boulin-Cenor case parallels another tax-related fraud investigation: Last week, the FBI wrapped up an undercover operation that resulted in fraud charges against a pair of National Football League veterans and a Miami Jackson High graduate who played football at Syracuse University.
SC Health and Human Services employee stole 228,435 Medicaid recipients’ personal information www.privateofficer.com
COLUMBIA, SC April 21 2012 – The personal information of more than 228,000 Medicaid recipients in South Carolina has been stolen by a former state Department of Health and Human Services employee, according to DHHS and the State Law Enforcement Division.
SLED says 36-year-old Christopher Lykes was able to make off with 228,435 Medicaid recipients’ personal information by emailing the information to his personal Yahoo email account.
The information contained names, addresses, and Social Security numbers — information the Lykes had access to and the agency trusted him with.
Most of the people impacted by the security breach live in Richland, Lexington, Barnwell, Orangeburg, Allendale, and Bamberg counties.
Lykes has been charged with five counts of Medically Indigent Act confidentiality violations and one count of disclosure of confidential information.
Lykes, a resident of Swansea, is active in politics. He is listed as the Lexington County Democrat Party’s executive committee. A 2011 SCStatehouse.gov online report shows that Lykes was one of two members of the statewide Democrat Party, serving as an executive committeeman.
Kathryn Hensley, a representative of the Lexington Democratic Party, says Lykes is not currently an officer of the county party, but said he had been one of the Lexington members on the state executive committee.
DHHS Director Tony Keck says the investigation started in January and ended three weeks ago. They found out about the scheme after conducting employee performance reviews.
“The information was not readily available, but it was available to him through a normal reporting process and that’s where we’ve identified a security lapse that the department was not sufficiently requiring employees to justify their need for that information,” Keck said. “That is fairly easy lapse to close and we’ve done that.”
Keck says he called Lykes in on April 10 and fired him, then turned the information over to SLED.
SLED has Lykes’ home computer and is working to track down where the information went and hopefully why this employee wanted it in the first place.
“Agents have now taken possession of his work computer and also the employee’s personal computer. At this time, we know of at least one other party who has received data from this former employee and this transfer is part of this ongoing investigation,” SLED Director Mark Keel said.
SLED served a search warrant on Yahoo, asking for Lykes’ email records. Investigators said they’re trying to figure out where the Medicaid information went and who else may be involved.
Investigators said Lykes could also face federal charges in connection to the case. SLED continues investigating and working to determine a motive in the case.