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Central Florida Man Charged with Selling Fraudulent Ids

8/13/2007

CONTACT:   Tara Klimek or Nina Banister 
(850) 413-2842           
 
WIMAUMA—Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced today that a Central Florida man is facing several felony charges after fraud detectives with the Department of Financial Services caught him allegedly selling fraudulent social security and resident alien cards from his home.  Subsequently, a search warrant was executed, and detectives uncovered equipment used to make the fraudulent cards.
 
Jose R. Rojas Sanabria, 27, was arrested last week in his Wimauma home after detectives with the department’s Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF) had two informants buy fraudulent cards from him.
 
“The cost of fraud inevitably is passed on to all consumers,” said CFO Sink, who oversees the department.  “But this kind of fraudulent activity carries the additional impact of undermining the security of our communities and our nation, and we are committed to protecting our citizens.”
 
In June, DIF arrested 26 individuals throughout Florida who were using fraudulent identification to gain employment.  At one point during the investigation, it was uncovered that 115 individuals were using one 10-year-old Florida girl’s social security number. 
 
Sanabria is charged with two counts each of forgery, uttering a forged instrument, identity theft and counterfeiting.  If convicted on the charges, he faces up to five years in prison on each count in addition to fines and restitution.  Sanabria was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail with bond set at $16,000.  Detective Kevin B. Morris was DIF’s lead investigator, and the charges are being prosecuted by the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office.
 
During an unrelated workers’ compensation fraud investigation, Detective Morris learned that fraudulent social security cards and resident alien cards allegedly were being produced and sold in Sanabria’s home.  Two informants went into Sanabria’s home and for $100 each purchased two fraudulent social security cards and two fraudulent resident alien cards. Investigators said following the transactions, a search warrant was executed and detectives found blank cards and forms and other items needed to produce the fake cards.
 
The Division of Insurance Fraud is a statewide law enforcement agency that investigates fraud in all lines of insurance, including health, life, auto, property and workers' compensation insurance.  Anyone with information about this case or another suspected fraud case is asked to call the department's Fraud Fighters Hotline at 1-800-378-0445.  A reward of up to $25,000 may be offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.