Four Miami-Dade Residents Charged in Tax Refund Fraud Scheme Using Stolen Identities
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), and Paula Reid, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service (USSS), announced the unsealing of a twelve-count superseding indictment charging Lewon Antoine Lurry, aka “Big Brother”, 26, of Miami Gardens, Darius Andre Morgan, aka “Gutta DTS”, 18, of Miami Gardens, Jeffery Aundery Mathis, 22, of Miami, and Christie Shanae Lurry, aka “Christy”, 24, of Miami Gardens, for their participation in a tax refund scheme using stolen identities. All defendants, except Morgan, were arrested on June 15, 2012, and made their initial appearances in court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman. Morgan is expected to appear in court at a later date to be set.
More specifically, the superseding indictment charges the defendants with one count of conspiracy to steal government funds (income tax refund checks), six counts of stealing government funds, three counts of aggravated identity theft, and other related charges. If convicted, the defendants face a statutory maximum sentence of up to 5 years in prison on the conspiracy count, up to 10 years in prison on each count of theft of government funds, and two years consecutive to the other sentences on the aggravated identity theft charges.
According to the allegations in the superseding indictment, defendants Lurry and Morgan obtained tax refund checks that were issued based on federal income tax returns that had been submitted using the stolen identities of unwitting victims. Thereafter, defendants Lurry, Morgan, Mathis, and Christie Lurry allegedly provided these fraudulently-obtained tax refund checks to an employee of a check cashing store for cashing.
Mr. Ferrer thanked IRS-CID and the Secret Service for their work on this case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisa Castrolugo.
An indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
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.