Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Miami-Dade public service aide pleads guilty to bribery

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Marquies McGirt, 32, a former Miami-Dade Police Department (“MDPD”) public service aide (“PSA”) pled guilty to conspiring to commit mail fraud, by accepting bribes from a co-conspirator who operated a for-profit credit repair business.

According to court documents, a PSA is an unarmed civilian employee with no arrest powers, whose duties essentially involve providing support to sworn police officers.  A PSA performs duties that can include investigations of non-violent crimes, minor crime scene processing, and other routine non-emergency law enforcement activities – such as directing traffic and responding to accidents without serious injury.  As part of a PSA’s official duties, a PSA may respond to a reported incident of the offense under Florida state law of “criminal use of personal identification,” which is commonly known as identity theft.

The credit repair business operated by McGirt’s co-conspirator assisted individuals in improving their credit scores, including individuals residing in Miami-Dade County.  The essence of the conspiracy involved McGirt agreeing to assist his co-conspirator’s business by creating police reports known as Offense-Incident Reports (“OIRs”) that alleged certain customers of the co-conspirator’s credit repair business had been victims of identity theft.  In return for creating the OIRs, McGirt would receive bribes from the co-conspirator in the form of cash and lifetime free credit monitoring, as well as discounted credit repair services for McGirt’s family members and friends.

In furtherance of the conspiracy, McGirt’s co-conspirator would provide McGirt with the customers’ names and other identifying information, so that McGirt in turn could create OIRs that claimed those customers had been victims of the Florida state law offense of criminal use of personal identification.  McGirt would create OIRs, consistent with this plan.  In the OIRs, McGirt would falsely represent that the alleged “victims” personally had reported to him facts consistent with having been victims of identity theft, when in fact McGirt had never met with the alleged victims.

The co-conspirator would send letters, via the United States Postal Service, to Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, which were credit reporting agencies that collected and maintained data relevant to the credit worthiness of individual consumers.  In order to induce the credit reporting agencies to remove negative items from the credit histories of the co-conspirator’s customers, the letters would claim that the co-conspirator customers had been victims of identity theft.  To support the claims in these letters, the co-conspirator could include a copy of the relevant OIR provided by McGirt.

Records obtained through the investigation of this case reflect that the defendant created approximately twenty-four (24) OIRs in the manner described above, which the co-conspirator in turn sent to one or more of the credit reporting agencies.

McGirt’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 23, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro.

Ariana Fajardo Orshan, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Miami Field Office, and Alfredo Ramirez III, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department, made the announcement.

FBI Miami investigated this case, with assistance from the MDPD Professional Compliance Bureau.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Davis is prosecuting the case.

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