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A former City of Miami Police officer was sentenced to more than 6 years in prison Thursday for participating in an identity theft scheme, authorities said.
Vital Frederick, 27, was sentenced to 81 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release following his conviction on four counts of interference with commerce by extortion, one count of access device fraud, and two counts of aggravated identity theft, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida said.
Frederick will also have to pay more than $18,000 in fines and forfeitures.
According to the U.S. Attorney, Frederick provided protection and security for an illegal check cashing scheme and exploited the police databases to steal identities and sell the information, believing they were to be used to commit tax fraud.
Internal affairs began an investigation into Frederick after receiving a report of his suspicious activity while on duty. On four occasions, between August and September 2012, Frederick provided protection for a courier who he believed was cashing fraudulent government checks at the check cashing store, prosecutors said.
Frederick was in uniform and driving his marked police cruiser while providing protection. In exchange, Frederick was paid about $800, prosecutors said.
In October 2012, Frederick sold the personal information of 52 individuals to a second cooperating source after accessing City of Miami Police Department databases, prosecutors said. During the investigation, the internal affairs unit covertly monitored Frederick’s police issued laptop and found that he conducted searches of the victims whose identities he was selling.
"There is no compromise when it comes to corruption. It has to be sought out and defeated," U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said in a statement. "As a sworn police officer, Vital Frederick, pledged to protect the public. Instead, he abused that trust to victimize those he swore to protect."