A Georgia man was sentenced to six and a half years in a South Florida prison after stealing more than $1.8 million in veteran and Social Security benefits.
A federal jury found Ronaldo Garfield Green, 29, guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud this past November. On Wednesday, he was in Fort Lauderdale’s federal court.
He must also pay $915,000 in restitution, ABC News reported.
Officials said he is accused of redirecting over $1.8 million in benefits from disabled veterans and social security beneficiaries between 2012 to 2017.
The scheme made off with an actual loss of nearly $1 million, but the federal government reimbursed the victims for the full amounts of their stolen benefits.
The group of criminals obtained the victims’ personal information and used it to open bank accounts and prepaid debit cards in their names. They then forged documents that directed the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration to deposit the payments to the fraudulent accounts, officials added.
They were able to withdraw the funds from ATMs and banks throughout South Florida and Georgia, investigators said.
However, most of the funds were funneled to the creators of the scheme in Jamaica, officials said.