Thieves Sentenced In Separate Scams – Milton Man For Stealing From Social Security Administration + Out-Of-State Men For Using Fake Credit Cards
53-year-old Randy Courville of Milton, 38-year-old Jose Antonio Abreu-Arbolaez of Cuba and 29-year-old Yoany Quesada-Romero of Tampa, Florida, are now looking at prison time for stealing thousands of dollars for themselves.
In the first case, according to evidence presented at Courville's guilty plea, Courville got Social Security disability payments from early 1995 until March 2012, even though he continuously worked as a self-employed painter. Attorney Stephanie Finley says he owned his own business called R.T.'s Painting, which was later changed to Affordable Painting. Courville's family wife and three children also received benefits during this time. He was supposed to notify the Social Security Administration when his medical condition improved and he was able to go back to work, but he did not during those years. He pleaded guilty in February of 2013.
"There are many people who are disabled and need Social Security to make ends meet as they struggle to get back on their feet," says Finley. "This defendant was motivated by greed and made a conscious decision to lie about his ability to work. We will continue to prosecute these types of cases to the fullest extent of the law."
Courville has been sentenced to 37 months in prison and three years of probation for theft of government money. U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote also ordered Courville to pay $324,818.00 in restitution.
In the other case, court documents say Abreu-Arbolaez and Quesada-Romero used counterfeit credit cards to buy Wal-Mart gift cards during their travels from Florida to Louisiana on Sept. 26, 2012 to Sept. 28, 2012. Attorney Stephanie Finley says the two men were caught in Lafayette when security notified police that they were using stolen or counterfeit credit cards to buy Wal-Mart gift cards in and around the Lafayette area. They were then arrested in the parking lot of Wal-Mart on Pinhook Road in Lafayette on Sept. 28.
Finley says 34 counterfeit credit cards displaying Abreu-Arbolaez's name and 17 fake cards displaying Quesada-Romero's name were found. The magnetic strips on the back of the counterfeit cards contained information related to real financial institutions that were improperly charged $9,729 for the Wal-Mart gift cards purchased by the defendants. They pled guilty in March.
"These defendants defrauded private citizens, financial institutions, and a retail business," Finley said. "We will prosecute anyone who illegally uses other people's credit to enrich themselves. I want to thank the company's security personnel and the agencies involved for assisting in bringing the defendants to justice."
Both men have been sentenced to each serve 10 months in prison and one year of probation for conspiracy to possess more than 15 counterfeit cards.