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Jacksonville man imprisoned for defrauding bank with phony IDs

Gavel on a table
Charlie Neibergall
Associated Press

Damien Deshaun Dennis has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison after using fake documents to take out a $20,000 loan at Community First Credit Union. Another branch got suspicious when he tried to do it again.

A Jacksonville man used phony IDs to open bank accounts and, in one case, take out a $20,000 loan, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Damien Deshaun Dennis, 43, has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Thursday. He also must pay back thousands of dollars he took.

According to court documents and evidence, Dennis entered a Community First Credit Union branch in Jacksonville in August 2021, claiming to be a South Carolina man who wanted to open an account. Presenting a counterfeit South Carolina drivers license with his image on it, as well as the genuine birthdate of the man whose name was on it, he also showed fake documents showing a Jacksonville address and employment with a local company, prosecutors said.

Dennis completed a new member application using the fake identity, including his Social Security number, then applied for a $20,000 personal loan, stating he needed to pay for an upcoming wedding, court documents said. Then he withdrew the money in cash and left, prosecutors said.

The next month, Dennis went to a different Community First branch in Jacksonville and used someone else's identity in an attempt to get another loan, court documents said. Using a counterfeit Pennsylvania drivers license with his image on it, but the name and birthdate of another man, Dennis tried to open a bank account.

Credit union employees became suspicious and called the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, and an officer spoke with Dennis, who provided the victim’s name and fake drivers license, court documents said. As Dennis and the officer talked, Dennis took off, running through eight lanes of traffic on Beach Boulevard and into a neighborhood until he was taken into custody.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Dennis had tried to open bank accounts at two other financial institutions, also using stolen identities.

He had been sentenced in 2009 to five years in prison after the U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted him in a conspiracy to produce and pass counterfeit corporate checks.

Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years as a radio, television and print reporter in the Jacksonville area, as well as years of broadcast work in the Northeast. You can reach Dan at, (904) 607-2770 or on Twitter at @scanlan_dan.