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Document and Benefit Fraud

Osceola County Tax Collector employee arrested for issuing fraudulently obtained driver's licenses

ORLANDO, Fla. — An employee with the Osceola County Tax Collector's Office was arrested April 19 and charged via criminal complaint with conspiracy to knowingly, and without lawful authority, produce identification documents in violation of federal law.

The individual was arrested following 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 complaint, Walter Brown, 41, of Kissimmee, was a customer service representative at the Osceola County Tax Collector Office. Brown's primary duty was to issue driver's licenses and identification cards. Surveillance camera footage from the office located on E. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway in Kissimmee shows Brown issuing Florida driver's licenses and identification cards to customers who presented fraudulent and fraudulently obtained identity documents.

Most of the office's customers were observed following the regular queue process. They provided their personal information to the receptionist, obtained a number, waited in the lobby area and proceeded to the counter as directed by the queue system administrator. On the other hand, a customer who presented fraudulent or fraudulently obtained documents, proceeded directly to Brown's counter, bypassing the queue system entirely.

The complaint alleges that in his capacity as a customer service representative, Brown issued at least 200 Florida driver licenses and identification cards to those who may not be legally entitled to the documents.  In some cases, Brown fraudulently issued driver licenses and identification cards in multiple identities to the same person.

The Osceola County Tax Collector's Office terminated Brown's employment Friday.

If convicted, Brown faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison.

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