Former Corrections Officer Jerry St. Fleur, 26, was sentenced to over four years in a federal prison after agreeing to a plea deal for charges of identity theft and wire fraud. Over sixty thousand dollars that was proceeds from his scheme will also be forfeited. He faced up to twenty years in federal prison before submitting to the guilty plea.
But in 2014, St. Fleur was not alone when it came to officers from Florida’s Department of Corrections being arrested, accepting guilty pleas and being sentenced for their crimes.
St. Fleur was the third employee of Florida Correctional Institutions to be sent to federal prison for their transgressions. Just one month earlier, former juvenile probation officer Corey A. Coley was sentenced to more than seven years for identity theft and filing false tax returns and just two months prior to that resolution, former federal corrections Officer Michael J. Garland was sentenced to two years after he pleaded guilty for charges of bribery and smuggling contraband into a federal prison.
In this latest case St. Fleur’s guilty plea was established based on charges that he stole the identities of existing and former inmates who either served or were serving time at the Zephyrhills Correctional Facility. He used the data to file more than one hundred eighty bogus tax returns requesting refunds in an amount that exceeded one half million dollars
St. Fleur was arrested this past May on five separate counts of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft by using his authority to acquire birth dates and Social Security numbers that he matched up to the names of inmates currently serving their sentences at the facility. He was also charged with using the FDOC database to acquire the same information for inmates who previously were incarcerated there. He would use the former and present inmate’s personal identifying information (PII) to file the phony returns
After filing the fraudulent tax returns he directed payment to be deposited to debit cards that was held by accomplices who took part in his scheme.
The charges against St. Fleur of identity theft and wire fraud are both federal crimes which were investigated by the FBI and IRS. Locally, the investigation was assisted by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office leading to St. Fleur’s arrest and subsequent guilty plea and sentence. It was prosecuted by Matthew Jackson, Assistant United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida.
The Coley case resulted with him receiving a sentence of more than seven years in federal prison for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, as well as conspiracy. He was also ordered to return $671,023. That amount was the minimum monetary quantity calculated to be what he and his three accomplices obtained through the scheme. His co-conspirators also received significant punishments.
Albert E. Moore, Jr. was sentenced to more than six years, Tigi Moore received a four year sentence and Mattie Philon received the shortest sentence of two years in federal prison.
The case against Garland concluded with a two year prison sentence and the forfeiture of $4,200 which was the amount traced as being the financial proceeds of his crimes.
A conviction for any federal crime can result with serious consequences as explained in the article above. Lengthy prison terms and costly fines and/or restitution can be assessed when a plea deal is negotiated and accepted. If you are charged with any of the crimes listed in this article or if any other allegations by federal law enforcement become apparent it is essential to immediately hire an attorney who specializes in federal law. In the event that there is evidence of an investigation being launched it is in your best interest to have a skilled attorney whose practice concentrates on cases of federal legal matters by your side at the earliest point of a federal inquiry to confer with the prosecution with expectations of working out the best deal that can be reached based on the evidence at hand.
My criminal defense firm is dedicated to fighting for clients’ who face charges brought forward by the federal government. As a former Assistant United States Attorney working for the prosecution prior to founding my criminal defense firm in the private sector, I have a clear advantage of obtaining the best desired outcome refuting any federal charges alleged.
Before a plea bargain is negotiated and accepted by a client it is important to understand that the presumption of innocence is the responsibility of the prosecution to prove otherwise. If a client is resolute and believes they are wrongly accused I will always discuss an offer presented by the government, but based on the evidence will also consider with my client if going to trial and fighting the charges is a better option than accepting the arrangement proposed by the prosecution.
Call me at any of the phone numbers listed on all pages of this Website. I will fight for your rights guaranteed under the Constitution and devote my abilities to assure the best result, challenging any federal criminal allegations charged.