BANGOR, ME – A Canadian man who stole the identity of an American to collect welfare benefits in Maine was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to serve 3½ years in federal prison.
Robert Jerome Bond, 47, recently of Gardiner, had been living in the United States as an undocumented alien under assumed identities since at least 1994, including at least 15 years under the identity of an actual Ohio resident, court records state.
Bond first applied for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program benefits through the Maine Department of Health and Human Services in 2007. His benefits were suspended and reapplied at various times thereafter, according to a prosecution document filed with the court.
Bond used the identity of the Ohio man, who is identified in court records only by his initials “D.E.M.,” when he applied again and was granted welfare benefits on Jan. 19, 2011, Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Ruge wrote in the prosecution document.
“The defendant admitted to law enforcement that he had come into possession of D.E.M.’s lawfully issued Social Security card. The defendant further admitted to law enforcement that he had researched D.E.M. to confirm some of D.E.M.’s personal history, and that he fabricated excuses for not knowing certain information that he was unable to find. The defendant was aware that the real D.E.M. lived in Ohio, and acknowledged to law enforcement that he had had issues in the past because the D.E.M. identity was still being used there,” Ruge wrote.
In total, Bond stole more than $5,900 in Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program benefits, court records state.
Authorities discovered Bond’s crimes when the actual D.E.M. applied for benefits in Ohio in October of 2014 and was denied because Bond was already collecting benefits under D.E.M.’s name in Maine, according to Ruge.
Bond, who also used the name Richard James McKay, pleaded guilty before Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. on Oct. 8 to charges of theft of public money and aggravated identity theft.
The judge also sentenced Bond to pay $6,123 in restitution and fees.