Jamare Mason, 27, of Snellville, Georgia, was sentenced to more than six years in federal prison after defrauding more than 100 disabled veterans and Social Security beneficiaries of over $1 million, according to a Jan. 19 press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
Mason — also known as “Star Maxx” —pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bank and wire fraud in November 2021. His full sentence, laid forth by U.S. District Judge Raag Singhal in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, includes 78 months of federal imprisonment to be followed by five years of probation.
He was also ordered to pay $1,314,986.45 in restitution.
Carried out over five years, from May 2012 through around July 2017, the fraud scheme saw more than $1.8 million in benefits stolen, even with several of the fraud attempts blocked, according to the press release.
Mason — and six co-conspirators — would illegally obtain veterans’ personal information through unspecified means, court documents show.
They would then use this information to open bank accounts with the Bank of America, in addition to ordering prepaid debit cards in victims’ names.
Court documents also show that after forging documents that directed the Department of Veterans Affairs and Social Security Administration to deposit benefits into fraudulent accounts, Mason and his co-conspirators withdrew the stolen funds from banks in South Florida and Georgia.
A large portion of those funds were also sent to the main architect of the scheme who, according to the indictment, was Rockclif Burchell, of Montego Bay, Jamaica. Burchell was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud in addition to one count of aggravated identity theft. The case is ongoing, according to court records.
More than 100 disabled veterans and Social Security beneficiaries fell victim to the scheme, but in each case the federal government fully reimbursed each victim.
The case was investigated by the Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force, the VA’s Office of the Inspector General, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Homeland Security Investigations and the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lois Foster-Steers and Sajjad Matin.
Rachel is a Marine Corps veteran, Penn State alumna and Master's candidate at New York University for Business and Economic Reporting.