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Twin stole his brother's identity to defraud the US government

Social Security.jpg
Jenny Kane
/
AP
A Jacksonville man is accused of using his twin brother's Social Security card and military discharge papers to apply for federally subsidized housing benefits.

Wayne Bowen's resemblance to his twin brother was more than striking.

It was criminal, prosecutors say.

The 64-year-old Jacksonville man has admitted to using his estranged brother's name, Social Security number and military discharge papers to apply for federally subsidized housing benefits in 2014.

What's more, he told federal agents he had used his twin brother's identity for years and been convicted of felonies under his twin's name, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida.

Although Bowen initially told agents that he, like his twin, had been honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, Bowen later admitted those were lies.

Using Bowen’s fraudulent identity, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provided him with $32,434 in medical services; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provided him with $18,905 in housing subsidies; and the U.S. Department of Agriculture funded $12,434 in nutritional benefits for him.

Bowen’s twin confirmed that he did not apply for any of those benefits and never gave Bowen permission to use his name.

The VA labeled Bowen's acts "abhorrent conduct." He faces a mandatory two years in prison for aggravated identity theft and has agreed to reimburse the federal agencies $63,773.