Miami Man Sentenced for his role in a $3.3 Million Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud Scheme
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 Rafael P. Hernandez, Jr., Chief, North Miami Beach Police Department, announced that defendant Arthy Icart, 25, of Miami, was sentenced yesterday for his participation in a $3.3 million stolen identity tax refund fraud scheme. Specifically, U.S. District Judge Joan A. Lenard sentenced Icart to 70 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. Icart had previously pled guilty to charges of conspiracy to file fraudulent claims, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
On October 5, 2012, Arthy Icart and co-conspirator Charlton Escarmant, 29, of Miami, were charged in a five-count indictment for their participation in an identity theft tax refund scheme. According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, some of the personal identification information used by Icart and Escarmant to file fraudulent tax returns was stolen from Tallahassee Community College’s (TCC) financial aid office. In fact, more than 3,200 names found on a computer in Escarmant’s possession came from TCC.
To execute the scheme, Icart and Escarmant filed tax returns using the stolen identification information and also in their own name and created false W-2 forms with fictitious employer information. Icart’s W-2 falsely claimed the he worked at Memorial Regional South Auxiliary. Escarmant’s W-2 form falsely claimed that he was a veterinarian at Central Broward Animal Hospital. IRS Special Agents contacted the employers listed on both Icart and Escamant’s W-2 and the employers confirmed that neither defendant ever worked for them.
At the time of their arrest, Icart and Escarmant unlawfully possessed approximately 22 pre-paid tax debit cards in the names of other individuals. In total, during the course of the scheme, Icart and his co-conspirator submitted approximately 400 fraudulent tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service, seeking more than $3.3 million in tax refunds.
Sentencing for Charlton Escarmant has been scheduled for June 17, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Lenard. At sentencing, he faces a possible statutory maximum sentence of 24 years in prison.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Identity Theft Tax Refund Strike Force, with special commendation to the IRS-CI and the North Miami Beach Police Department. Mr. Ferrer also thanked the Tallahassee Community College for their cooperation during this investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael B. Nadler and Elina Rubin-Smith.
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.