Attorney General Bondi’s Weekly Briefing

September 21, 2018

No matter how big or small the target is, identity theft is a devastating crime that can leave individuals and families with heavy financial hardships. Understandably, victims can experience high levels of anxiety and emotional distress for months and even years trying to clear their names.

This week, my Office of Statewide Prosecution successfully prosecuted a Palm Beach County man on two counts of public assistance fraud and two counts of identity theft. The defendant stole names, social security numbers and dates of birth from hundreds of victims.

Michelson Janvier used this information to apply for Food Stamp benefits, otherwise known as SNAP/EBT benefits through the Florida Department of Children and Families. Janvier physically obtained EBT cards in the victims’ names, using them to make purchases at numerous South Florida retailers and even trafficked in food stamps at a market in Hialeah. Assistant Statewide Prosecutors Jonathan Bridges and Patricia Abdi prosecuted this case.

In 2017, Florida ranked second among U.S. states in identity theft complaints. Anybody can have their identity stolen. If you do fall victim, my Identity Theft Victim Kit is a useful tool to curb the damage and protect your finances. The kit provides specific instructions on combating identity theft, along with how to properly file police reports and work with your financial institutions.

Identity thieves are very conniving and use multiple techniques to steal information. Please take steps now to protect your information by visiting