Fort Lauderdale Woman Arrested in Identity Theft Tax Fraud Scheme Involving More Than 1000 Fraudulent Tax Returns and $9.5 Million in Fraud
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), Miami Field Office, and Paula Reid, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service, Miami Field Office, announced the filing of a criminal complaint charging defendant Alci Bonannee, 35 of Fort Lauderdale, with conspiracy to submit false claims to the United States Government, in violation of Title 18, Untied States Code, Section 286, and possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(3). Bonannee made her initial appearance in court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin G. Torres.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, from January 2011 through June 6, 2012, Bonannee and co-conspirators submitted more than a thousand confirmed fraudulent tax returns to the IRS and received refunds from these fraudulent returns, which refunds were deposited into bank accounts controlled by Bonannee and other co-conspirators. In addition Bonannee and other co-conspirators withdrew the money in cash. The total amount of the refunds obtained by the defendants through fraud as part of this scheme was approximately $9.5 million.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, law enforcement searched Bonannee’s residence pursuant to a search warrant and found a notebook and folder under a tall cabinet in the master bathroom. The notebook and folder contained more than a thousand names, dates of birth, and social security numbers, which were used for the submission of fraudulent tax refund claims.
Mr. Ferrer thanked IRS-CID and the Secret Service for their work on this case. Mr. Ferrer would also like to thank the Broward Sheriff Office for their assistance on this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael N. Berger.
A complaint is only an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.