The same week the federal government arrested a Hialeah police officer on charges of using his cop access to a state database to help commit identify theft, Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office deputy Frantz Felisma plead guilty to similar actions in federal court.
Felisma, 42, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to one count of access device fraud in connection with an identity theft scheme and one count of aggravated identity theft. The first charge carries a maximum of 10 years. The second carries a minimum of two years, to run consecutively after any other charge. Felisma’s been in federal prison since his January arrest after being denied bond.
That total time will be decided by Judge Donald Middlebrooks on June 7. Part of whatever sentence Judge Middlebrooks hands down will include $135,899.99 restitution to victims.
Here’s how Felisma got in bed with a thief and woke up in federal prison.
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According to Felisma’s factual proffer statement, Kesner Joaseus told Felisma he wanted personal identification information with which he could open bank and credit card accounts in others’ names. Felisma agreed to help. The indictment put Felisma’s retainer at $10,000 per month.
Joaseus would write the high end car’s license plate down. Felisma would look up the information, sometimes in his patrol car on his department laptop via the Florida Criminal Information Center. then hand it go Joaseus. Between April 2013 and April 2014, Joaseus opened several Bremer Bank credit card accounts under the names given by Felisma.
Joaseus gave up Felisma after pleading guilty to mail fraud and access device fraud.