Three More Defendants Plead Guilty in Stolen Identity Tax Refund Scheme Resulting in Millions of Dollars in Fraudulent Activity
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Michael B. Steinbach, 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 Henry Dorvil, aka “D,” 35, of Hollywood, Brandon Johnson, 29, of Miami Gardens, and Ronald Gustave, 36, of Miami, pled guilty today for their participation in a stolen identity tax refund scheme resulting in millions of dollars in fraudulent activity. Sentencing for Dorvil is scheduled for April 14, 2014 at 8:30 a.m. Sentencing for Gustave and Johnson is scheduled for April 18, 2014 at 8:30 a.m.
Specifically, each defendant 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). Co-defendants Dukens Eleazard, aka “DK,” 33, of Pembroke Pines, Luckner St Fleur, aka “Nene,” 32, of Miami, Marie Eleazard, aka “Fanfan,” 32, of Miami, and Jesse Lamar Harrell, 26, of Miramar, each previously pled guilty to the same two charges. Dukens Eleazard is scheduled to be sentenced on February 26, 2014; Harrell and St Fleur are scheduled to be sentenced on February 27, 2014; and Marie Eleazard is scheduled to be sentenced on March 5, 2014. At sentencing, each of the defendants face a maximum of five years in prison for the conspiracy charge, and a mandatory term of two years in prison, consecutive to any other term in prison, for the aggravated identity theft charge.
Co-defendant Marc Leroy Saint Juste, 26, of Tamarac, previously pled guilty to one count of conspiring to defraud the government, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. He was sentenced to two months in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release.
Court documents state that 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.
According to documents filed in conjunction with today’s plea hearings, Dorvil and/or his co-conspirators filed 1,747 false returns using deceased individuals’ identities from multiple EFINs, and these returns fraudulently claimed approximately $7 million in refunds. The dollar amount of fraudulent federal income tax returns filed and paid by the IRS, in 2012, under the EFIN used by Gustave was $544,054. Johnson and other co-conspirators working at Imperial Tax used an EFIN to file approximately eight fraudulent 2010 tax returns that were prepared with identities from deceased individuals that fraudulently claimed $44,608 in refunds.
A change of plea hearing is scheduled on February 3, 2014 for co-defendant Ruth Cartwright, aka “Princess,” 30, formerly of Plantation.
Trial is scheduled on February 24, 2014 for co-defendants Herve Wilmore Jr., 29, of Aventura, Miguel Patterson, 35, of Miami, John Similien, 24, of Plantation, Corey Williams, 30, of Miami Gardens, and Delvin Jean Baptiste, aka “Doo Doo”, 29 of Miramar.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the IRS-CI, FBI, and USSS. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Karadbil and Tax Division Trial Attorney Greg Tortella.
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.