BOYNTON BEACH, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Source: USDOJ) — A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy was arraigned today on federal charges related to his role in an identity theft scheme.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Mark Selby, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Sean Scheller, Chief, Town of Lantana Police Department, Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and Ric Bradshaw, Sheriff, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, made the announcement.
Frantz Felisma, 42, of Boynton Beach, a deputy with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, was charged in a six-count indictment with participating in an identity theft scheme, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1028A (Aggravated Identity Theft); 1029(a)(2) (Access Device Fraud); and 1029(b)(2) (Conspiracy to Commit Identity Theft) (Case No. 17-80008-CR-MIDDLEBROOKS). Felisma was previously arrested on a criminal complaint and was ordered to be held without bond pending trial by Magistrate Judge James M. Hopkins.
As alleged in the indictment, over the span of approximately 18 months, Deputy Felisma used his police department issued laptop computer to access a law enforcement database in order to obtain personal identification information belonging to numerous individuals. Felisma sold this information to his co-conspirator, who then used the identities of at least 15 of these victims to set up credit card and bank accounts, stealing tens of thousands of dollars in the names of the victims.
If convicted, Felisma faces a mandatory minimum of two years’ imprisonment, to run consecutive to any other term of imprisonment imposed, as to the aggravated identity theft charges contained in Counts 3 through 6; a maximum of ten years’ imprisonment as to the access device fraud charge in Count 2; and a maximum of five years’ imprisonment as to the conspiracy to commit identity theft charge in Count 1.
Felisma is currently on administrative leave without pay from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI, Lantana Police Department, IRS-CI and Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Lauren Jorgensen and Rinku Tribuiani.
An indictment is a formal charging document notifying the defendant of the charges. All persons charged in an indictment are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.