Jacksonville, Florida – U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard has sentenced Anthony Jermaine Robinson (31, Covington, Georgia) to 42 months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Judge Howard also sentenced co-defendant, Kiana Fina Alphonse (29, Covington, Georgia), to 36 months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, false representation of a Social Security number, and aggravated identity theft. The court also ordered Robinson and Alphonse to pay $9,463.32 in restitution to the victims they defrauded. Robinson had pleaded guilty on February 8, 2023, and Alphonse pleaded guilty on April 26, 2023.
According to court documents and public records, in 2019, deputies from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) stopped a car driven by Robinson for a cracked windshield. Based on a probable cause search of the car, the CCSO located counterfeit Social Security cards and driver licenses in the identity of genuine individuals, genuine credit cards in the name of individuals and multiple phones. CCSO conducted a forensic examination of Robinson’s cellphone which determined that it contained text messages between Robinson and Alphonse depicting outlined instructions on how to fraudulently set up business accounts at banks using fraudulent documents for non-existent businesses, identification documents, and Social Security numbers.
Further investigation revealed that in 2019, Robinson and Alphonse obtained the personally identifiable information (PII) of multiple victims. The pair then obtained counterfeit driver licenses, purportedly from the states of Washington and Delaware, in the identity of the victims. The counterfeit driver licenses contained the PII of the victims, but a photo of Alphonse. Using the PII, including the Social Security numbers of the victims, the counterfeit driver licenses, and documents created for fictitious businesses, Alphonse visited multiple banks and set up fraudulent business bank accounts in the name of various victims. These bank accounts were then utilized as part of a scheme to defraud multiple victims involving the online purchase of nonexistent cars. Once the bank accounts received funds from victims, Robinson, Alphonse, and co-conspirators withdrew the funds for their own personal use.
Robinson appeared in federal court on November 3, 2022, pursuant to a writ bringing him to Jacksonville from Georgia State Prison where he is serving a prison sentence for violating parole on a fraud related crime. Robinson is also wanted on violation of probation warrants from South Carolina and Columbia County, Florida on two unrelated financial crime cases.
This case was investigated by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Secret Service – Jacksonville Field Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin C. Frein.