Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Prison Officer Steals Inmate IDs - Nets $500,000

TAMPA, FL. -- United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces today that Jerry St. Fleur (26, of Tampa) today pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. 

St. Fleur would “screen scrape” (i.e., cut and paste) inmates’ personal identification, without their knowledge or permission, from FDOC databases and then use that PII to file false tax returns. As part of this scheme, St. Fleur filed approximately 182 fraudulent income tax returns. The government estimates that the total amount of fraudulent refunds requested from the 182 tax returns was over $500,000.

According to the plea agreement, beginning no later than January 2011, and continuing until about May 2014, St. Fleur, in his capacity as a correctional officer at the Zephyrhills Correctional Facility, in Zephyrhills, Florida, unlawfully accessed and stole the personal identifying information of inmates, both former and current, within the Florida Department of Corrections. 

St. Fleur faces a maximum penalty of twenty years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Jackson.

This case was brought as part of the Tampa Bay Identity Theft Alliance, an initiative dedicated to combating the scheme of using stolen identities to file fraudulent federal income tax refund claims. 

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