Mass. woman seeks dismissal of identify fraud counts
BRENTWOOD - Prosecutors are arguing they had a legal right to bring identity fraud charges against the girlfriend of a county jail inmate who allegedly impersonated a public defender so he could call an inmate at another jail.
Shayna Provencal, 24, of Andover, Mass., has asked a judge to dismiss felony charges of accomplice to identity fraud, saying there was no legal basis under state law to charge her.
Provencal is accused of making a three-way phone call on June 1, 2012, with her jailed boyfriend, John Bouraphael, 33, of Danville, who identified himself to corrections officers in Merrimack County as public defender Anthony Naro.
Bouraphael is charged with identity fraud for impersonating Naro.
Assistant County Attorney Michael Zaino said in court papers filed Monday that Bouraphael would never have been able to make the phone call without his girlfriend's help.
Bouraphael was being held at the Rockingham County jail at the time and was able to speak with inmate Jacob Palo about an enterprise they had involving strong-arming fellow inmates out of canteen goods, according to Zaino.
Provencal's lawyer, Patrick Fleming, argued in court papers that his client played no role in obtaining Naro's identification number, which was allegedly used by her boyfriend.
A judge has already denied a bid by Bouraphael to have his charges thrown out, but will now decide whether the charges will stand against Provencal.
Provencal is facing up to 7½ to 15 years in prison if she is convicted.
Bouraphael began serving a 15-month to four-year state prison sentence on Aug. 15 after pleading guilty to one count of sale of a controlled drug and five counts of being a felon in possession of a weapon for keeping several firearms.
He was arrested by the Rockingham County Sheriff's Drug Task Force at his home in Danville. Investigators seized roughly $415,000 in cash, an assortment of jewelry, gold ingots and 22 carat gold coins that prosecutors say were profits from his drug business.
The seizure is being contested in court.