Former Social Security Administrator to Plead Guilty to Aggravated Identity Theft, Mail Fraud, Unauthorized Sale of Stolen Stocks, Tax Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 19, 2013|
PROVIDENCE, RI—Randolph Hurst, 50, of West Warwick Rhode Island, a former assistant district manager for the Social Security Administration in Rhode Island, has agreed to plead guilty to stealing the identity of a Coventry man and using the victim’s identity to fraudulently sell more than $160,000 worth of stock certificates belonging to the victim. Hurst has also agreed to plead guilty to failing to paying $61,999 in taxes owed to the IRS.
According to a plea agreement filed with the U.S. District Court on Wednesday, Hurst will plead guilty to one count each of aggravated identity theft, transportation of stolen securities, and tax evasion; two counts of mail fraud; and three counts of filing a false tax return.
A co-defendant in this matter, Justin Silveira, 29, of Coventry, has agreed to plead guilty to two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice. It is alleged that Silveira lied to a grand jury that was investigating this matter. The plea agreements in this matter are part of a package plea agreement where both defendants must plead guilty or both agreements will be vacated.
The plea agreements were announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Cheryl Garcia, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the New York region of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations; Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the FBI; John Collins, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; and Scott E. Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General/Office of Investigations.
According to court documents, including an indictment returned in this matter in November 2012, Hurst allegedly used personal identifying information belonging to the victim to open a joint account at Summit Brokerage Services in Providence in his name and in the name of the victim, without the victim’s permission. Hurst allegedly provided documentation to Summit purportedly authored and signed by the victim, requesting the deposit of two stock certificates owned by the victim. The victim claims he never authorized the deposit of the stock certificates and that he had not endorsed the stock certificates.
It is alleged in court documents that in October 2010, without the victim’s knowledge, Hurst requested that Summit sell the stocks and issue a check in his name and in the victim’s name for $157,747.49, which represented a portion of the proceeds of the sale of the stocks, and that the check be sent by overnight courier to the Coventry address of Justin Silveira. It is alleged that on October 22, 2010, the check was deposited into a bank account owned jointly by Hurst and his wife.
In addition, court documents allege that in October 2010, Hurst requested a check from Summit in the amount of $3,980.46, in his name and in the victim’s name, for the remaining proceeds from the sale of the stock and that it be sent to the same address in Coventry. On November 8, 2010, the check was deposited into a bank account owned jointly by Hurst and his wife.
It is alleged that Hurst and his wife spent the proceeds of the sale of the stock, $161,727.95 on personal items and expenses.
An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
At sentencing, Hurst faces statutory penalties of up to 10 years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release of up to three years and a fine of up to $250,000 for mail fraud; up to 10 years in prison followed by a term of up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 for transportation of stolen securities; up to three years’ imprisonment followed by up to one year of supervised release and a fine of up to $100,000 for filing a false tax return; up to five years’ imprisonment followed by up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $100,000 for tax evasion; and a mandatory consecutive sentence of two years in federal prison followed by up to one year of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 for aggravated identity theft.
At sentencing, Silveira faces statutory penalties of up to five years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release of up to three years and a fine of up to $250,000 for perjury; up to 10 years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release of up to three years and a fine of up to $250,000 for obstruction of justice.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dulce Donovan.
The matter was investigated by federal agents from the FBI; U.S. Department of Labor Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; and Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General/Office of Investigations.
This law enforcement action is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF), which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices, and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory, and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud.
Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets; and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions, and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.