Guy A. Lewis, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Jose Marrero, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigative Division, South Florida District, announced today the conviction of Mark Cecil Thurman on 15 counts of tax fraud after a jury returned a verdict on October 16, 2001. The case was tried before United States District Court Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley in West Palm Beach. As set forth in the indictment, and through evidence adduced at trial, Thurman filed fraudulent tax returns in his own name for the years 1994 through 1996, and assisted others in the filing of fraudulent tax returns for the same years. Thurman, who was the owner of PCS Reports, Ltd., directed the preparation of false W-2s showing that PCS Reports, Ltd., had withheld taxes from the claimed salaries of Thurman and the others in whose name Thurman had filed fraudulent tax returns. In reality, PCS Reports, Ltd., had withheld no taxes and had not paid the United States Treasury any withholding. Thurman then claimed entitlement to refunds of the fictitious amounts of withholding reflected on the false W2s for the PCS Reports, Ltd. The indictment charged that through this fraudulent scheme, Thurman attempted to defraud the United States out of more than $130,000. Thurman was convicted of all 15 counts in the indictment and faces a maximum term of imprisonment of three years as to each count. The maximum fine for each of these charges is $250,000, plus the costs of prosecution.

Thurman still faces pending charges in two other cases. According to the superseding indictment in United States v. Mark Cecil Thurman, et al., Case No. 01-6044-Cr-Hurley, Thurman faces charges of securities fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, and counterfeit securities violations, stemming from his involvement with Families On Line, a purported Internet filtering company for which Thurman acted as president and chief executive officer. The wire fraud charges relate to Thurman's alleged sale of Sony PlayStation 2 units through the Families On Line website that Thurman allegedly did not have and never intended to get. According to the indictment in United States v. Mark Cecil Thurman, Case No. 01-6084-Cr-Ferguson, Thurman faces charges of being a convicted felon in possession of three firearms on the date of his arrest in the tax fraud and securities fraud cases.