Four Defendants Sentenced in Stolen Identity Tax Refund Scheme Resulting in Millions of Dollars in Fraudulent Activity
Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 @ 12:14AM
U.S. Attorney’s Office April 23, 2014
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Kathryn Keneally, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division; Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI); George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; and Paula Reid, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service (USSS), Miami Field Office, announce that defendants Brandon Johnson, 29, of Miami Gardens; Henry Dorvil, a/k/a "D," 35, of Hollywood; Ronald Gustave, 36, of Miami; and Marie Eleazard, a/k/a "Fanfan," 32, of Miami were sentenced for their participation in a stolen identity tax refund scheme resulting in millions of dollars in fraudulent activity.
Johnson was sentenced yesterday to 30 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $74,050 in restitution. Dorvil was sentenced on April 17, 2014 to 54 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $2,537,417 in restitution. Gustave was sentenced on April 17, 2014 to 36 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $544,054 in restitution. Eleazard was sentenced on April 9, 2014 to 25 months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $1,880,317.94 in restitution. Each of the defendants previously pled guilty to one count of conspiring to defraud the government, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A(a)(1).
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, the defendants conspired to unjustly enrich themselves by recruiting knowing co-conspirators and unknowing victims to put businesses, bank accounts, and Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs) in their names, through which fraudulent transactions would be conducted. To accomplish this, the defendants used the personal identification information of individuals, many deceased, to prepare and file false and fraudulent income tax returns with the IRS. The defendants would obtain possession of fraudulently obtained refunds in the form of United States Treasury and Refund Anticipation Loan checks diverted to addresses or into bank accounts that they caused to be created and controlled. The defendants would then negotiate the fraudulently obtained federal income tax refunds within each other’s businesses, and elsewhere, to avoid being detected.