|September 29, 2005
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
|en Español||Print Version||Tweet|
TALLAHASSEE – Attorney General Charlie Crist announced that an Orlando jury today convicted a Georgia woman on charges that she used another person's identity to steal more than $2.5 million from that individual and financial institutions. Eva Patrick Verner, also known as Eva Buchowski, faces up to 60 years in prison following today's conviction.
A joint investigation by the Attorney General's Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Orange County Sheriff's Office revealed that Verner, 67, obtained a Florida driver's license with her photograph but under the name of a Kissimmee woman. Working with various lenders in Southeast and Southwest Florida, Verner used the bogus driver's license and other fraudulent documents to obtain two mortgages on the victim's property in amounts of $350,000 and $2.3 million. She had large portions of the money wired to an account in the Cayman Islands that had been opened in the victim's name. Verner then transferred the funds from the fraudulent account to her own account and attempted to used the proceeds to buy other properties in the Gainesville area.
"This is a staggering tale of fraud and identity theft," said Crist. "Fortunately, Florida has a new identity theft law that provides stiff penalties for such egregious criminal activity. Nothing is more precious than a person's good name, and we will continue the fight to protect Floridians from those who would steal it."
Verner was convicted on two counts of criminal use of personal identification information. She will be sentenced on November 3 and faces a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 60 years, as well as possible fines up to $20,000. The case was prosecuted by the Attorney General's Office of Statewide Prosecution, which has worked with the Kissimmee victim in an attempt to help her restore her credit rating in the wake of Verner's actions.