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Document and Benefit Fraud
05/24/2013

Osceola County Tax Collector employee indicted on identity theft, document fraud charges

ORLANDO, Fla. – A Kissimmee man was indicted Wednesday on one count of conspiracy to knowingly and without lawful authority produce identification documents and nine counts of aggravated identity theft. The indictment resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Services and the Florida Highway Patrol’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations and Intelligence.

According to the indictment, Walter Brown, 41, was a customer service representative at the Osceola County Tax Collector’s Office. Brown’s primary duty was to issue driver’s licenses and identification cards. Court documents show that Brown issued at least 200 Florida driver’s licenses and identification cards to individuals who may not have been legally entitled to the documents. In some instances, Brown fraudulently issued driver’s licenses and identification cards in multiple identities to the same person.

The Osceola County Tax Collector’s Office reported Brown to law enforcement after internal controls revealed suspicious activity involving his issuance of Florida driver’s licenses and identification cards. Brown was terminated from his employment, and the Osceola County Tax Collector’s Office has cooperated fully in the investigation.

If convicted, Brown faces up to 15 years in federal prison for the conspiracy charge and two years in federal prison for each count of aggravated identity theft.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.