|November 24, 2004
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE – Attorney General Charlie Crist and Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary announced the arrest of an Alpharetta, Georgia, woman on identity theft charges stemming from her use of another individual's name to steal more than $2.5 million from that person as well financial institutions and several attorneys. Eva Patrick Verner, also known as Eva Buchowski, was arrested in Gainesville for two counts of Criminal Use of Personal Identification Information of $100,000 or more, commonly referred to as "Identity Theft."
An investigation conducted by the Orange County Sheriff's Office in conjunction with the Attorney General's Office of Statewide Prosecution revealed that Verner, 67, obtained a driver's license with her photograph under the name of Se'Belle Smith Dymmek. Verner then used this fraudulent driver's license and other fraudulent documents to obtain two mortgages on the real Dymmeck's property in amounts of $350,000 and $2,300,000. Verner then had large portions of the money wired to an account in the Cayman Islands she had opened under Dymmek's name. Verner transferred the funds from the fraudulent Dymmek Cayman account to her own Cayman account in order to use the proceeds to buy other properties.
"This is a staggering tale of fraud and uncontrollable greed," said Crist. "The new ID theft law provides stiff penalties for this egregious criminal activity. Sheriff Beary and his team are to be commended for their outstanding work on this case."
If convicted on both counts, Verner would face a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of 60 years. In addition, she would face fines of up to $20,000. These penalties are a result of Identity Theft legislation approved by the Legislature at Crist's urging last year. The case will be prosecuted by the Office of Statewide Prosecution. Verner was being held on $1 million bond after being booked into the Alachua County Jail pending transfer to the Orange County Jail.