A Florida sheriff’s deputy is accused of supplying identity information to an identity thief for $10,000 a month over 21 months.
Palm Beach County Deputy Frantz Felisma was arrested last Wednesday on charges of aggravated identity theft, access device fraud; conspiracy to commit identity theft; and access of a computer in furtherance of a fraud.
The criminal complaint against Felisma, 42, claims a search warrant sweep of identity thief K.J.’s home in January turned up personal information used to open bank and credit card accounts in the names of identity victims.
Facing federal charges in two cases in July, K.J. pleaded guilty and flipped on Felisma.
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He told investigators he got the personal information from a Palm Beach deputy named Frantz, whom he paid $10,000 a month for information services in 2013 and ’14. He would write down the make, model and tag number of high-end cars he saw, then give that information to Felisma on pieces of paper. K.J. said Felisma would run each tag to get the registered owner’s driver’s license number, Social Security number and date of birth. Then he would write the information on the same pieces of paper K.J. gave him.
The criminal complaint says K.J.’s description matched 50 pieces of paper found in the January search warrant execution. The complaint also quotes some of several text messages, the first of which was in January 2013, that investigators say were between K.J. and Felisma’s number.
K.J. told the Homeland Security agents that Felisma also always met him in his marked patrol car and sometimes would run tags in the car. To do that off the mobile computer, Felisma would need a username and password for the Florida Criminal Information Center. With the assistance of the Lantana Police Department, investigators say they found that 15 of the 20 victims in K.J.’s first federal case and the one victim in his second had their tags run by Felisma.
Total losses suffered by those victims, according to a chart included in the complaint: $196,851.37.