Florida police officer Dana Brown was sentenced to more than six years in federal prison for using the state’s driving license database to assist in fraud.
Brown provided the information from the state database to an accomplice who produced fake IDs in order to cash US Treasury checks.
Federal investigators say that more than 195 persons lost money due to the former officer’s crimes.
In the sentencing hearing Brown apologized and explained to the court that he had violated the public trust and sold his soul.
Federal judge Mary Scriven sentenced Brown to 77 months in prison and ordered Brown to repay the amount of the checks he helped to convert. The total amount of restitution came to $874,319.
Brown’s sentencing came after a co-consiprator, Riad Sulaiman, had been sentenced for obtaining the fraudulent tax return filings by purchasing them through his business.
Sulaiman used Brown to search the names on the fraudulent tax returns through the Florida DMV database. With this information Sulaiman created fake IDs to cash the checks.
Sulaiman was sentenced for one year less than Brown. According to prosecutors this was because Sulaiman cooperated with investigators and there were a fewer number of checks associated with him.
Brown’s attorney argued that his client should not face a stricter sentence than his co-conspirator because Brown formerly served in the US Army and faithfully served the public until the time he engaged in fraud. However, the court did not find that argument persuasive.
Brown has the right to appeal his sentence within 14 days. Brown’s attorney would not comment on whether this was likely to happen.