Former SSA Employee Sentenced to 39 Months in Prison for ID Theft and Tax Evasion

Date: 
Monday, January 13, 2014
Office Affiliation: 

From the US Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island, here

Randolph Hurst, 50, of West Warwick R.I., a former Assistant District Manager for the Social Security Administration in Rhode Island, was sentenced Friday to 39 months in federal prison for stealing the identity of a Coventry, R.I., man and using his identity to fraudulently sell more than $160,000 worth of stock certificates belonging to the victim, and for failing to pay $61,999 in taxes owed the IRS. 

U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith also ordered Hurst to serve 3 years supervised release upon completion of his term of imprisonment and to pay restitution in the amount of $245,299.56, reflecting the current value and earned dividends to date of the stolen stocks. Hurst pleaded guilty on October 9, 2013, 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, R.I., was sentenced Friday to 15 months in federal prison, to be followed by 2 years supervised release. Silveira pleaded 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. According to information presented to the court, during lengthy testimony before the grand jury, Silveira repeatedly falsely implicated a family member of the victim as having participated in the scheme. Silveira’s testimony caused the government to invest significant time and expense to investigate the false allegations. 

The sentences 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 201, he stole personal identifying information belonging to the victim and used it to open a joint account at a Providence brokerage firm in his name and in the name of the victim, without the victim’s permission. Two days after opening the account he provided documentation purportedly authored and signed by the victim, requesting the deposit of stock certificates owned by the victim. The victim never authorized the deposit of the stock certificates.

Hurst admitted to the court that in October 2010, without the victim’s knowledge, he requested that the stocks be sold and a check be issued 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. Hurst requested the check be sent by courier to the residence of Justin Silveira. On October 22, 2010, on the same day Hurst deposited the check into a bank account owned jointly by Hurst and his wife, Hurst requested a second check be issued in his name and in the victim’s name for, $3,980.46, which represented the remaining proceeds of the sale of the stocks.  Hurst requested that the check be sent to Silveira’s residence. On November 8, 2010, the second check was deposited into a bank account shared by Hurst and his wife. Hurst admitted to the court that he and his wife spent the proceeds of the sale of the stock on personal items and personal expenses.

The defendants were ordered to self-surrender to the U.S. Marshals Service or the Bureau of Prisons on January 31, 2014. 

The case was 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 federal law enforcement action was brought in connection with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established 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 nearly 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants, including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit www.stopfraud.gov.