Maine Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing Rochester, NH Boy’s Identity
A Maine man reportedly racked up close to a quarter of a million dollars in debt, buying expensive cars, a motorcycle, and a snowmobile, all using the Social Security number of a Rochester child.
David Keene, 38, of North Berwick, Maine, pleaded guilty on Monday in the United States District Court in Concord to one count of felony wire fraud. The charge could net him 20 years in prison, but the plea agreement on file in the court shows the government is offering him 18-months of home confinement instead.
Sentencing is set for October.
The scheme to use the child’s Social Security number goes back to 2016, when the boy was 7 years old. The court documents refer to the child as John Doe, stating that the boy is someone Keene knew.
Keene reportedly had bad credit of his own, and started using the boy’s Social Security number when taking out loans for cars, or opening accounts for utilities, cell phones, and credit cards, according to court records. In one instance that was common for Keene, he was recorded calling Eversource to open an electrical service account and he gave his name but used the boy’s Social Security number, according to court records.
In 2017, Keene allegedly used the boy’s information to buy a $56,000 BMW from a Manchester dealership. The BMW financing company is located in Ohio, triggering the federal wire fraud charge, according to court records.
During the two years Keene used the child’s Social Society number, he obtained $227,828 in loans and services. Starting around 2019, Keene stopped making payments on the loans and the vehicles were repossessed to pay down some of the debt. The boy was left with more than $102,000 in debt on his credit record.
Last year, the boy’s legal guardian became suspicious and ran a credit check, discovering the substantial debt for the then 10-year-old child. Rochester police were soon contacted.
“This guilty plea demonstrates our commitment to hold accountable those who intentionally misuse the Social Security numbers of others for their own personal gain,” said Jermaine Jack, acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, Boston Field Division.
On top of the 18-months of home confinement, Keene will be on probation for three years, and he will be required to pay down the outstanding debt, according to the plea agreement.
The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General, Rochester Police Department, and Strafford Police Department, with assistance from the Strafford County Attorney’s Office.