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Florida man stole twin brother’s identity to receive veteran benefits, DOJ says

Judge gavel, scales of justice and law books in court (BrianAJackson/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

A Florida man pleaded guilty to stealing his brother’s identity to receive veteran benefits.

Wayne Bowen, 64, of Jacksonville made his guilty plea for aggravated identity theft Thursday morning, according to the Department of Justice.

Bowen told authorities that in 2014 he used his brother’s name, Social Security card, and military discharge papers to apply for subsidized housing benefits. The subsidy was intended for indigent military veterans, according to the DOJ.

The VA provided Bowen with $32,434 in medical services, $18,905 in housing subsidies, and $12,434 in nutritional benefits. When federal agents interviewed Bowen, he initially told them he served in the military and received a dishonorable discharge.

He later told authorities that was a lie.

In addition to identity theft, Bowen had been convicted of multiple felonies under his brother’s name. His twin brother told officials he did not permit Bowen to apply for any benefits or to use his name, according to the DOJ.

As part of his plea agreement, Bowen has agreed to reimburse various federal agencies a total of $63,773 for the government benefits he received in connection with his identity theft scheme.


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