News and Press Releases

City of North Miami Resident Convicted in Stolen Tax Refund Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2014

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and Tom Weschler, Chief, City of Naples Police Department, announce that Marie Jean Baptiste, 22, of North Miami, was convicted by a federal jury of three counts of stealing tax refunds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 641 and 2. The trial was held before U.S. District Court Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum. Sentencing is scheduled for March 21, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. Baptiste faces a maximum sentence of ten years in prison for each count.

According to the indictment and evidence presented at trial, Baptiste received four tax refunds that she knew were stolen, and converted them for her own use and gain. Baptiste participated in a scheme in which fraudulent tax returns were filed directing the tax refunds to be directly deposited into her bank account. After the tax refunds were deposited into her bank account, Baptiste would withdraw the tax proceeds from the bank and various ATMs for her own use and gain.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, IRS-CI and the City of Naples Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gera R. Peoples.

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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.

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