Randolph Hurst, 50, of West Warwick R.I., a former Assistant District Manager for the Social Security Administration in Rhode Island, pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence on October 9, 2013, 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 also pled guilty to failing to pay $61,999 in taxes owed to the IRS.
Appearing before U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith, Hurst pled 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. Hurst faces up to 45 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1.4 million dollars when he is sentenced on January 10, 2014.
A co-defendant in this matter, Justin Silveira, 29, of Coventry, pled guilty on October 9, 2013, to two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice. Silveira admitted to the court that he lied to a grand jury which was investigating this matter. At sentencing on January, 10, 2014, Silveira faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $750,000.
The guilty pleas were announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston field office of the FBI; 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; 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.
At the time of his guilty plea, Hurst admitted to the court that in September 2010 he stole personal identifying information belonging to the victim and used it 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 admitted that two days after opening the account he provided documentation to Summit purportedly authored and signed by the victim, requesting the deposit of two stock certificates owned by the victim. The victim never authorized the deposit of the stock certificates and was unaware that an account had been opened in his name.
Hurst admitted to the court that in October 2010, without the victim’s knowledge, he 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. The check was sent by courier to the Coventry address of Justin Silveira. On October 22, 2010, the check was deposited into a bank account owned jointly by Hurst and his wife. Hurst admitted to the court that on the same date the check was deposited he requested a second 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.
Hurst admitted to the court that he and his wife spent the proceeds of the sale of the stock, $161,727.95, on personal items and expenses.
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.