Former Florida corrections officer pleads guilty in income tax fraud case

 

Special to The Miami Herald

Former state corrections officer Bernard Beliard plead guilty Tuesday to charges of fraud and aggravated identity theft after accessing the personal information of more than 800 inmates.

Beliard, who was a corrections officer since 2005, used his position to access the database of inmates at the South Florida Regional Center from Oct. 24, 2012 to Jan. 4, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office.

The lists included the names of inmates and identifying information, such as Social Security numbers and dates of birth.

On four separate occasions, he met with a confidential informant. Investigators said Beliard sold the lists to the informant knowing it would be used to commit federal income-tax refund fraud. In exchange, he pocketed $9,600 in cash.

He was fired from his position on March 7.

On the same day, Malinsky Bazile and Vital Frederick, both Miami police officers, were arrested for accessing the state driver’s license database, taking personal information and filing false federal income-tax returns to reap the stolen refunds. Bazile pocketed about $140,000 from running the names of more than 1,000 people in the database.

Both are pending trial.

Beliard will receive a minimum mandatory sentence of two years for identity theft. He is scheduled for sentencing on July 16.

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