A man lived under the name of a disabled U.S. Army veteran for decades and spent 25 years in prison while pretending to be him, federal prosecutors in Florida said.
Lorenzo Antoni Alfred, 64, who lives in New York and is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, stole the veteran’s identity in 1988 to “illegally come” to the U.S. and was able to obtain his birth certificate and Social Security card, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. It’s unclear how Alfred obtained the man’s identification documents.
Alfred was convicted of second-degree murder under the veteran’s name in 1989 in New York and wasn’t released from prison until 2014, prosecutors said.
After serving his prison sentence in New York, Alfred continued using the veteran’s identity and stole his benefits issued by the government, according to prosecutors, who didn’t specify the dollar amount of benefits he obtained.
He also acquired identity documents and credit cards issued in the veteran’s name in New York and Florida — while the veteran dealt with the fallout from the decades-long identity theft, prosecutors said.
“The victim was harmed psychologically and financially by the offenses, including temporarily losing his government benefits and being unable to obtain credit in his name,” prosecutors said.
By 2019, Alfred was living in Tampa, where he applied for a U.S. passport under the man’s name, according to prosecutors.
Now, Alfred has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison for passport fraud and aggravated identity theft, the attorney’s office announced in an Oct. 4 news release.
Information regarding Alfred’s legal representation wasn’t immediately available on Oct. 4.
“Today’s sentence rightfully holds the defendant accountable for stealing the identity of a U.S. Army veteran and receiving benefits to which he was not entitled,” Christopher Algieri, the special agent in charge of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General’s northeast field office, said in a statement.
Alfred’s sentencing comes after his guilty plea on May 19, according to the release.
The veteran whose identity Alfred stole was not publicly identified by prosecutors.