Man sentenced to prison for aggravated identity theft, fraud charges, officials say

US attorney's office: Anthony Johnson sentenced to 41 years in federal prison

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville man has been sentenced to federal prison for aggravated identity theft and fraud charges, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida.

Officials with the U.S. attorney's office said Anthony Johnson, 53, was sentenced to 41 years in federal prison for aggravated identity theft, bank fraud, false representation of a Social Security number, mail fraud and violating his federal supervised release.

Johnson was arrested on July 11, 2016, for violating his federal supervised release. Officials said he was subsequently indicted on fraud charges on Aug. 10, 2016.

Johnson has remained in federal custody since his arrest, officials said.

On Oct. 19, 2017, a federal jury found Johnson guilty of nine counts of aggravated identity theft, nine counts of bank fraud, seven counts of false representation of a Social Security number and three counts of mail fraud, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Officials said that, beginning in 2014, Johnson falsely claimed to be a former member of the U.S. Army and used the Social Security numbers of two victims, including a lawyer from Seattle, to open a bank account and to obtain a loan and multiple credit cards from the United Services Automobile Association in the names of his victims, according to evidence presented at trial.

After obtaining multiple credit card convenience checks, officials said Johnson withdrew thousands of dollars from the USAA bank account for his own use.

After obtaining a genuine Florida driver's license, using the identity of a doctor from Texas, Johnson obtained two fraudulent loans totaling more than $148,000 from Bankers Healthcare Group, LLC, officials said. Johnson had the money from BHG wired to a TD Bank business account in the name of a false medical data company he incorporated in Florida.

Johnson, using the same identity, then obtained additional loans from Springleaf Financial Services and had the proceeds wired to the bank account he had set up for the false medical data company, officials said.

Johnson then set up a personal bank account at TD Bank in the victim's name and began funneling money from the business account to the personal account, officials said.

Thereafter, Johnson began making large cash withdrawals to fund his purchase of luxury items, including a $70,000 car, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

During this time, officials said Johnson used the identity of a fourth victim to obtain an apartment and then obtained another genuine Florida drivers license using the identity of a fifth victim.

During the summer of 2016, using proceeds from his alleged criminal activity, Johnson left the U.S. in violation of the federal supervised release that was imposed after a previous federal conviction for fraud and identity theft-related charges, officials said.

While on the trip, Johnson stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, purchased high-end personal items and spent more than $4,000 while visiting a club/restaurant, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in coordination with the U.S. Marshals Service, arrested Johnson on July 11, 2016, at Orlando International Airport, for violating the terms of his supervised release, officials said.

"The U.S. Secret Service is committed to investigating these types of fraud investigations with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, due to the impact on the U.S. financial system and our local community," said Neil Melofchik, special agent in charge of the U.S. Secret Service Jacksonville Field Office.

Officials said the court also ordered Johnson to pay restitution to the multiple victims he defrauded.