Delray Beach man facing ID theft charge wants evidence tossed

A Delray Beach man who is serving a 46-month sentence for identity theft will try to persuade a judge to throw out evidence today that could send him to prison on fraud charges for a third time in a decade.

Jeffrey Emil Groover will argue that he was in jail awaiting sentencing on identity fraud charges when police went to his apartment on Laver Drive and persuaded his wife to turn over a computer. The information found on the computer, along with a flash drive, CDs and DVDs that were seized from his apartment without a warrant, should be thrown out, his attorney Jan C. Smith II with tell U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas.

Groover’s wife, Svitlana Volodymyrivna Molina, could not legally give police permission to search equipment that was Groover’s, not hers, Smith said in a motion.

Federal agents used the information from the computer to persuade a grand jury to indict Groover on two counts of aggravated identity theft, two counts of bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

According to the April 3 indictment, he used personal information of a woman, identified in court documents as K.M., to open bank accounts at TD and PNC banks. He and unidentified co-conspirators “withdrew and attempted to withdraw” roughly $170,000 from K.M.’s home equity line of credit by cashing a $20,000 check drawn on that account as well as one drawn on the PNC account he fraudulently opened in her name.

Groover was first sent to prison in 2004 for identity theft. At that time, he pledged never to steal anyone’s identity again.

Then, in 2012, federal prosecutors said, he used people’s personal information to file fake tax returns electronically and pocketed the refunds. In April, just weeks after he was indicted on the new charges, he was sentenced to five years in prison in connection with that scam.

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