Government Employees Convicted of Identity Theft

Identity thieves often abuse the authority or respect their trusted positions in society afford them. In these recent cases, a city council member and sheriff's deputy are just a couple of the government employees who broke their vow that they'd stay on the right side of the law.

Deputy Convicted of ID Theft Now Faces Life Sentence

A former sheriff's deputy in Louisiana faces a life sentence for fraud charges related to a 61-year-old man who disappeared in 2007, according to the Times-Picayune.

Mark Hebert pleaded guilty to seven counts of bank fraud, identity theft and using his badge to violate the civil rights of victim Albert Bloch. The judge ruled that Hebert's sentence is allowed to reflect that he committed second-degree murder to cover up his theft.

In August, Hebert was the responding officer for a 2007 car accident that left Bloch injured. A paramedic gave him Bloch's wallet. Authorities say Hebert then drained the victim's bank accounts. Soon thereafter Bloch disappeared.

In 2008, while the deputy was under investigation for Bloch's disappearance, he was sentenced to three years in state prison for stealing from other motorists during traffic stops.

Hebert was charged in 2013 with identity theft and fraud counts related to the money he stole from Bloch. Though Bloch's body was never found, prosecutors sought to have his fraud sentence reflect the likelihood that Hebert killed Bloch to cover up his identity theft crimes. 

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TSA Worker Sentenced for Stealing Children's Identities

A Florida man was sentenced to more than three years in prison for using public school student identities to file fraudulent tax returns, the Sun Sentinel reports.

Donald Claude was a Transportation Security Administration worker at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport who also ran J&D Tax Services with co-defendant James Jean-Baptiste. The two men bought stolen identities from a school employee and used them to file more than $200,000 worth of bogus tax returns.

In addition to his sentence, Claude was ordered to pay more than $200,000 in restitution. Declared a fugitive, Jean-Baptiste is still at large.

Army Reservist Imprisoned for Victimizing Soldiers

A former US Army reservist was sentenced to more than three years in prison for stealing the identities of seven fellow soldiers while stationed abroad, the LA Times reports.

Authorities say former reservist Gustavo Cervantes stole soldiers' information while stationed in Afghanistan and would forward the information to his cousin Rigoberto Cortez, who would establish fraudulent lines of credit. Their scam netted roughly $217,000, according to prosecutors.

Both men pleaded no contest and were ordered to pay about $180,000 in restitution.

Councilman Pleads Guilty to ID Theft and Stalking

A former city council member in California pleaded guilty to stalking and identity theft charges related to a revenge scheme against an ex-boyfriend, The Sun reports.

Robert Jenkins pleaded guilty to all 30 counts against him and will receive an 180-day sentence. His charges stemmed from personal ads he placed under a false identity that directed sex partners to the home and office of his ex-boyfriend and that ex's new boyfriend.

Jenkins was ordered to pay $14,795 in restitution to the victims. If Jenkins violates parole, he faces the maximum sentence of more than 14 years for the felony charges and 12 years for the misdemeanors.

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