FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A Georgia man has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison in South Florida for his part in running a scheme to steal more than $1.8 million in veteran and Social Security benefits.
Ronaldo Garfield Green, 29, was sentenced Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale federal court, according to court records. A federal jury found him guilty in November to conspiracy to commit fraud. He must also pay $915,000 in restitution.
From 2012 to 2017, Green and others attempted to redirect more than $1.8 million in benefits from more than 100 disabled veterans and Social Security beneficiaries, officials said. The scheme resulted in the actual loss of nearly $1 million although the federal government reimbursed the victims for the full amounts of their stolen benefits.
According to testimony, the group obtained the victims’ personal information and used it to fraudulently open bank accounts and prepaid debit cards in the victims’ names. The conspirators also forged documents that directed the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration to deposit benefit payments into those fraudulent accounts, officials said.
Funds were withdrawn from ATMs and banks throughout South Florida and Georgia, investigators said. Much of the funds were ultimately funneled to the architects of the scheme in Jamaica, officials said.
Jamare Mason was previously sentenced to six and a half years and ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution for his role in the scheme, and Omar Bailey was previously sentenced to two years. Kadeem Gordon received six months, and Mario Ricketts was sentenced to time served.
Two other men suspected of participating in the fraud haven’t been captured, authorities said.