Wayne Bowen, 64, of Jacksonville, Florida, United States pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft on January 26, 2022. As part of his plea agreement, he is required to pay $63,773 in restitution and spend two years in federal prison.
In 2014, Bowen applied for federally subsidized housing benefits by using the name, the Social Security card and the military discharge papers of his estranged twin brother. The subsidy, which was intended for indigent military veterans, was funded under a joint program administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Bowen is not a military veteran but his twin brother is. The twin brother, who does not live in Florida, has confirmed that he neither applied for federally subsidized housing benefits nor gave Bowen permission to use his name.
Representing Bowen is Lisa Call. He admitted to using of his twin’s identity for years.
The Jacksonville resident received $32,434 in medical services from the VA and $18,905 in housing subsidies from the HUD provided him with. Moreover, he received $12,434 in nutritional benefits from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
There is identity theft or identity fraud when a person wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception. Such crimes are typically committed for economic gain.
Schemes to commit identity theft or fraud may involve violations of other statutes such as identification fraud, credit card fraud, computer fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud or financial institution fraud. To prosecute identity theft and fraud cases, the U.S. Department of Justice works with federal investigative agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.