A Jacksonville, FL man has been sentenced to prison for stealing the identity of his estranged twin brother and using it to steal over $60,000 worth of federal benefits from three different federal agencies according to an announcement from the Justice Department.
Wayne Bowen (64) admitted to federal agents in an interview that he had been fraudulently using the identity of his twin brother for years for various crimes. He had obtained a Florida identification card using his twin’s name and had been arrested and convicted of felony offenses under his twin’s identity.
In 2014, Bowen used the name, Social Security card, and military discharge papers of his estranged twin brother to apply for federally subsidized housing benefits. The program was run by the Department of Veterans Affairs and intended to benefit poor military veterans. Bowen, however, is not a veteran unlike his twin brother, although he initially told federal agents that he had served and been honorably discharged from the Army.
The VA provided him with $32,434 in medical services, the Department of Housing and Urban Development provided him with $18,905 in housing subsidies, and the Department of Agriculture funded $12,434 in nutritional benefits for him. His twin brother has confirmed that he did not apply for any of these benefits and that he never gave Bowen permission to use his name.
Bowen pleaded guilty in court and has been sentenced to two years in federal prison as well as ordered to pay $63,773 as restitution to the federal agencies to reimburse the benefits he obtained fraudulently.