For $10,000-a-month, Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy Frantz Felisma would obtain the personal information of luxury car owners through a law enforcement database, then hand it over to another man, who would then use that information to swindle the car owners out of money.
But the scheme caught up to the 42-year-old deputy and he will now spend the Christmas weekend behind bars because he is considered a flight risk.
His attorney, however, said nothing could be further from the truth because his client recently received the Deputy of the Quarter award.
“Deputy Felisma contests the government’s allegations that he is a flight risk and a danger to the community,” Jason Kreiss said.
“To the contrary, Deputy Felisma was awarded Deputy of the Quarter and has been a highly regard member of the Sheriff’s Office and the community.”
But we all know law enforcement awards are nothing but participation awards for adults.
According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel:
An investigation found Felisma worked with a man, identified in documents as K.J., who went around looking for people driving high-end cars, court documents show. K.J. gave Felisma the vehicle’s license plate, make and model on a piece of paper, according to the documents.
Felisma allegedly used his Palm Beach sheriff’s laptop to put that information into a law enforcement database to get a driver’s name, Social Security number and other personal information. He would then give it back to the man, according to court documents.
K.J. created credit cards and bank accounts using that stolen personal information, investigators said. Information from more than a dozen people was used to steal about $197,000 from them, according to the documents.
Investigators also found more than 200 text messages between the deputy and the other man from January 2013 to September 2014, with many of the messages confirming meeting locations, authorities said.
Confronted Wednesday with the allegations against him, the deputy “gave about four hours of statements” to investigators, a prosecutor said.
Felisma is believed to be a flight risk because he was born in Haiti and frequently travels there to visit friends and family, including his mother.
In fact, last year he posted a photo on his Facebook page, showing him in full uniform posing with the police chief of Haiti.
Felisma, who is currently on paid administrative leave, will remain incarcerated until at least Wednesday, when he will attend another hearing.
Felisma, who joined the department in 2009, was charged with aggravated identity theft, access device fraud, access of a protected computer for furtherance of fraud, and conspiracy to commit identity theft.