News and Press Releases

North Miami Man Pleads Guilty in $2.4 Million Tax Refund Scam Involving Large-Dollar Fraudulent Tax Refund Claims

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 4, 2014

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), Paula Reid, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service (USSS), and Ronald J. Verrochio, Postal Inspector in Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), announce that Jeaneno Florent, 38, of North Miami, pled guilty today for his role in a tax refund scheme that resulted in the submission of approximately $2.4 million in fraudulent refund claims.

Florent pled guilty to one count of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343. Sentencing for Florent is scheduled for May 9, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Federico A. Moreno. At sentencing, the defendant faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison.

According to the plea documents, the defendant caused a false and fraudulent individual income tax return in his own name to be submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in January 2012. The tax return falsely and fraudulently indicated that the defendant worked at Capitol Records, Inc. and made approximately $8.7 million and was entitled to a refund of approximately $613,000. In reality, the defendant had not worked at Capitol Records and was not entitled to this refund. IRS approved payment and issued a refund check for approximately $613,000 in the defendant’s name.

According to plea documents and documents submitted in court, the defendant also submitted a similar fraudulent tax refund claim with the IRS in 2013 seeking approximately $573,000 and conspired with Gerald Duverger who submitted similar fraudulent tax refund claims for approximately $613,000 and approximately $573,000 in Duverger’s name in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI, USSS and USPIS. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael N. Berger.

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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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