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Nessel: Detroit man charged after using stolen identities to commit Medicaid fraud

(CBS DETROIT) - A Detroit man has been charged after stealing personal information from thousands of victims and submitting fraudulent Medicaid applications.

Dewan Anton Williams, 47, allegedly purchased social security numbers from identity theft victims off the dark web, and used that information to submit nearly 3,000 fraudulent Medicaid applications.

These applications were submitted to receive free government cell phones.

In a joint investigation, the Michigan Department of Attorney General and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, Williams was identified in connection to this crime.

About 150 new, pre-packaged Safelink Wireless phones were found at Williams' home. In addition to this, officials also recovered personal information that was stolen from 7,000 identity theft victims. 

He was arraigned on Sept. 29 and entered a plea of not guilty.

Williams was charged with one count of criminal enterprises-conducting, three counts of identity theft, three counts of use of a computer to commit a crime, and three counts of welfare fraud over $500. 

"The threat of identity theft is real, and I urge Michigan residents to educate and protect themselves against potential victimization," said Nessel. "My Michigan Identity Theft Support team, known as MITS, stands ready to assist victims of identity theft in recovering from the impact of this crime, and my team of prosecutors will continue to work to hold perpetrators accountable."

He was given a $100,000 personal recognizance bond.

His probable cause conference was held on Oct. 5, and a preliminary examination is set for Nov. 1.

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