A prostitute who used crack cocaine to buy the identity of veterans — one who was recovering from a suicide bombing that blew off his legs — from a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employee was sentenced June 4 to four years and nine months in federal prison, according to the Department of Justice.
The day Army 1st Lt. Ryan Timoney arrived at the Tampa, Florida Veterans Affairs hospital to recover from injuries suffered in Afghanistan, VA employee David F. Lewis traded the hero’s name, birthdate and Social Security number to Nejah Prince, a prostitute, in exchange for crack cocaine.
Prince stole his identity, opened up a credit card in his name and bought a plasma TV and other goods, which is how Timoney noticed a problem. She also filed false tax returns to get federal tax refunds totaling $33,000 using the identity of four other veterans. (RELATED: YOU’RE FIRED! Trump’s VA Terminates 500, Suspends 200 For Misconduct)
In all, Lewis — who was sentenced to six years in prison in March 2014 — stole at least 59 veterans’ identities that were used to claim tax refunds of more than $100,000, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
“Lewis accessed and printed the personal information, including names, social security numbers, and medical information, of over 100 veterans who were in-patients at the Tampa VA Medical Center,” prosecutors said at the time. “Lewis then gave these documents to someone else in exchange for crack cocaine, knowing that the veterans’ information would be used by others to file fraudulent tax returns in order to fraudulently obtain tax refunds.” (RELATED: VA Kept Child Molester On Payroll, Rehired A Killer After He Got Out Of Prison)
Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor previously said: “Stealing and selling the identity of a war hero is as low as it gets.”
Prince’s rap sheet, as reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation, is 43 pages long, and includes previous arrests for insurance fraud, shoplifting, prostitution, grand theft, false statements, and battery.
A recent Department of Justice press release said:
“Officers from the Tampa Police Department executed a search warrant at Prince’s home. During the search, they found copies of confidential patient medical records from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), notebooks with the personal identifying information of at least 200 individuals, reloadable debit cards, and several tax returns. Further investigation revealed that Prince had used the identity of one person whose name was on a VA medical record to open a credit account at Montgomery Ward. She then made $1,300 in purchases using that account. In addition, IRS agents discovered that many of the identities found during the search warrant had been used in the filing of false and fraudulent income tax returns.”
Prince’s sentence was first reported by DisabledVeterans.org.
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