North Miami Man Sentenced in Refund Scam Involving Large-Dollar Fraudulent Tax Refund Claims
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), and Paula Reid, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service, announce that Jeaneno Florent, 38, of North Miami, was sentenced to 60 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343, for a tax refund scheme that resulted in the submission of approximately $2.4 million in fraudulent refund claims. The defendant was also ordered to pay $1,226,068 in restitution.
According to the plea documents, Florent caused a false and fraudulent individual income tax return in his own name to be submitted to the IRS in January 2012. The tax return falsely and fraudulently indicated that the defendant worked at Capitol Records, Inc., 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. Even though the return was fraudulent, and Florent knew the return was fraudulent, the IRS approved payment and a refund anticipation check for approximately $613,000 in the defendant’s name. Florent deposited the check in a bank account in his own name and used the proceeds for his own personal benefit.
According to plea documents and documents submitted in court, Florent submitted a similar fraudulent tax refund claim with the IRS in 2013 seeking approximately $573,000, and also 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 and the U.S. Secret Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael N. Berger.
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.