The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida announced the indictment of Jamilla Ciar Hall of Tallahassee, FL, for allegedly using her job to fraudulently obtain $42,000 from Florida Prepaid College Program account holders. Hall, 30, faces charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and aggravated identity theft. The press release did not say if she has retained legal representation.
The indictment claims the mail fraud and identity theft occurred between July 1, 2018, and December 31, 2018. Hall was an employee of Intuition College Savings Solutions (ICSS), which was contracted by the Florida Prepaid College Board to provide records administration services and customer service for the Florida Prepaid College Program—a state initiative that provides families with affordable savings plans for their children’s college tuition.
Hall allegedly used her position to access and view the personal identification information of Florida Prepaid account holders and beneficiaries. She then illegally changed mailing addresses, emails, and phone numbers associated with existing plans, the indictment claims. She purportedly completed cancellation forms using the personal identification information of account owners and had Florida Prepaid send her refund checks using the United States Postal Service (USPS), which she personally cashed or gave to others to cash. In total, Hall is accused of fraudulently obtained approximately $42,000 in funds.
Hall was arrested June 4 after a federal grand jury returned an indictment of her charges. Her case was the result of an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the United States Secret Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Keen is handling the case. The trial is scheduled for July 29, 2020 at the U.S. Courthouse in Tallahassee.
Mail fraud is a felony offense wherein the accused voluntarily and intentionally devised or participated in a scheme to defraud another individual or entity of money using USPS or a private mail carrier by offering a service, product, or investment opportunity that does not live up to its claims. Common examples include fake check scams, fraudulent invoices, sweepstakes offering ‘free’ prizes, fraudulent inheritances, and more. Landmark mail fraud cases include those of Charles Ponzi and Bernard Madoff.
The press release announcing Hall’s charges noted that an indictment is merely an allegation by a grand jury that the accused has violated criminal law, but it isn’t evidence of guilt. The accused is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial. It is the prosecution’s responsibility to prove the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
If convicted, Hall faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years for the conspiracy to commit mail fraud and mail fraud charges, and a two-year mandatory minimum prison sentence for aggravated identity theft. With the assistance of an experienced fraud defense attorney, Hall could minimize the severity of the penalties and increase her chances of a favorable outcome to her case.
South Florida Fraud Defense Attorney