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Financial Fraud Law

Former Social Security Administrator Sentenced to Federal Prison for Aggravated Identity Theft, Unauthorized Sale of Stock Certificates, and Tax Evasion

 Randolph Hurst, a former assistant district manager for the Social Security Administration in Rhode Island, has been sentenced to 39 months in federal prison for stealing the identity of a Coventry, Rhode Island, man and using his identity to fraudulently sell more than $160,000 worth of stock certificates belonging to the victim, and for failing to pay $61,999 in federal income taxes.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith also ordered Hurst to serve three years’ supervised release upon completion of his term of imprisonment and to pay restitution in the amount of $245,299.56, reflecting the current value and earned dividends to date of the stolen stocks. Hurst previously pleaded guilty to one count each of aggravated identity theft, transportation of stolen securities, and tax evasion; two counts of mail fraud; and three counts of filing a false tax return.

A co-defendant, Justin Silveira, was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison, to be followed by two years’ supervised release. Silveira previously pleaded guilty to two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice. Silveira admitted to the court that he lied to the grand jury that was investigating this matter. According to information presented to the court, during lengthy testimony before the grand jury, Silveira repeatedly falsely implicated a family member of the victim as having participated in the scheme. Silveira’s testimony caused the government to invest significant time and expense to investigate the false allegations, prosecutors said.

At the time of his guilty plea, Hurst admitted to the court that he stole personal identifying information belonging to the victim and used it to open a joint account at a Providence brokerage firm in his name and in the name of the victim, without the victim’s permission. Two days after opening the account, he provided documentation purportedly authored and signed by the victim requesting the deposit of stock certificates owned by the victim. The victim never authorized the deposit of the stock certificates.

Hurst admitted to the court that, without the victim’s knowledge, he requested that the stocks be sold and a check be issued in his name and in the victim’s name for $157,747.49, which represented a portion of the proceeds of the sale of the stocks. Hurst requested the check be sent by courier to the residence of Justin Silveira, and Hurst deposited the check into a bank account owned jointly by Hurst and his wife. Hurst also admitted that he requested a second check be issued in his name and in the victim’s name for $3,980.46, which represented the remaining proceeds of the sale of the stocks, that he requested that this check be sent to Silveira’s residence, and that this check was deposited into a bank account shared by Hurst and his wife. Hurst admitted to the court that he and his wife spent the proceeds of the sale of the stock on personal items and personal expenses.

The defendants were ordered to self-surrender to the U.S. Marshals Service or the Bureau of Prisons on January 31, 2014.

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