MIAMI GARDENS RESIDENTS PLEAD GUILTY TO FRAUDULENTLY OBTAINING AND USING TAX REFUNDS
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Vance Luce, Acting Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service, Miami Field Office, and John E. Brooks, Chief, Sunrise Police Department, announced that defendants Latoya Balsh, 23, and Meshanto Elizor, 18, both of Miami Gardens, Florida, each pled guilty today to one count of access device fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1029(a) and 2 in front of United States District Judge Kenneth A. Marra in West Palm Beach.
Sentencing is scheduled for January 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm. Each defendants faces a maximum statutory term of up to 10 years’ imprisonment.
According to court documents, identities of numerous victims were used to electronically file fraudulent tax returns using a commercially available tax software program. In this way, the defendants obtained money cards containing IRS refunds based on fraudulent tax returns. The defendants used these cards to obtain money orders and cash at a retail store in Sunrise, Florida.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Secret Service and the Sunrise Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Katz.
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.