LAND O'LAKES — A man confined to his jail cell for 23 hours a day committed an elaborate fraud scheme over several months, deputies say, during his only hour of free time.
Brian Michael Chipman, 30, was put in protective custody some time after his first arrest in January on 26 fraud-related charges. From then through July 17, while he was allowed just one hour a day to mingle in the jail's general population, he would go into other inmates' cells and collect their personal information, a Pasco Sheriff's Office report states.
While the other inmates were either outside their cells or sleeping, Chipman would rummage through their belongings for legal paperwork or arrest reports, the report states. Witnesses told deputies Chipman asked for their help in the scheme and told them he planned to use the personal information to apply for credit cards.
On July 17, after hearing from the witnesses, deputies searched Chipman's cell and found pages of handwritten personal information for 24 inmates, to include addresses and social security numbers.
Chipman was charged with nine counts of fraudulent use of personal identification information, adding $90,000 to his bail. He remained in jail Thursday in lieu of $180,150 total bail. He was convicted in 2008 of eight charges of burglary and had other convictions of attempted burglary, petty theft and grand theft.