Ex-Marine sentenced for stealing identities of active military personnel
MIAMI — A former U.S. Marine who violated the trust of members of his unit in Afghanistan was sentenced Friday to almost five years in prison for stealing their identities so he could commit tax refund fraud.
Jobson Cenor, of North Miami, had been stationed in Afghanistan when he got the names, birth dates and Social Security numbers of more than 100 Marines, many of them from his own unit. He sent the personal information to a Coral Springs woman who agreed to use it to file false tax refunds and split the money with him.
The plot unraveled when Cenor’s accomplice, Dorothy Boulin, talked to an FBI informant about filing fake tax returns. When Boulin was arrested in February, she began cooperating with the FBI and placed a recorded phone call to Cenor about the fraudulent tax refunds.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) then obtained a search warrant for Cenor’s living quarters at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province in Afghanistan. NCIS agents seized a list containing the personal information of 44 Marines.
Cenor, 23, pleaded guilty in October to two criminal charges: aggravated identity theft and wire fraud.
Cenor offered a brief apology in court on Friday to his fellow Marines and their families. No victims were present.
Standing straight and reading from a yellow piece of notebook paper, Cenor said he had never been in trouble before and won’t be again.
“I will use this experience as a turning point,” Cenor vowed.
U.S. District Judge Robert Scola said he had been thinking a lot about what sentence to give Cenor. The judge said he normally would be inclined to give someone who had stolen the identities of active military personnel a prison term of at least 10 years.
But he said he could not ignore Cenor’s own service. The judge ended up sentencing Cenor to 57 months behind bars — a punishment in keeping with the recommended federal sentencing guidelines in the case.
Cenor will begin serving his sentence in March, with prosecutors and his defense attorney agreeing to let him remain out on bond for the birth of his child.
Boulin, 30, was sentenced in September to 70 months in prison.
South Florida has the highest rate of identity theft of any metro area in the nation. And when it comes to stolen identity tax refund fraud, Florida leads the nation, according to the U.S. Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration.
U.S. taxpayers are on course to shell out as much as $21 billion in fraudulent tax refunds in the next five years, according to the inspector general.
Federal authorities have established the South Florida Identity Theft Tax Fraud Strike Force. The task force announced in October the arrests of 40 people in 20 separate cases. Among the victims in fraudulent tax refund schemes this year in South Florida are police officers, hospital patients and Holocaust survivors, U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said in October.
235 Apollo Beach Blvd #507
Apollo Beach, FL 33572