News and Press Releases

Three Miami-Dade Residents Sentenced in Tax Refund Fraud Scheme Using Stolen Identities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 29, 2012

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-CI), and Paula Reid, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service (USSS), announced today’s sentencing of Lewon Antoine Lurry, 26, of Miami Gardens, Darius Andre Morgan, 18, of Miami Gardens, and Christie Shanae Lurry, 24, of Miami Gardens, for charges relating to their participation in a tax refund scheme using stolen identities.

At today’s hearing, U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks sentenced Lewon Lurry to 32 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Darius Morgan was sentenced to 36 months in prison, to be followed by three years supervised release. Christie Lurry, whose role was limited to cashing one tax refund check, was sentenced to three years’ probation. All of the defendants pled guilty on August 20, 2012 to charges relating to the theft of government funds and identity theft.

According to court documents, between January 31, 2012 and February 11, 2012, the defendants cashed a total of eleven fraudulently obtained tax refund checks at a Check Cashing USA store in Miami-Dade County. The tax refund checks had been issued based on federal income tax returns that had been submitted using the stolen identities of unwitting victims. The total amount of tax refund checks cashed by the defendants as part of this scheme was $39,902.92.

Also as part of this scheme, according to court documents, at the time of Morgan’s arrest on March 29, 2012, Morgan had in his possession three additional fraudulently obtained tax refund checks, four refund anticipation checks, and corresponding means of identification for the payees. These additional tax refund checks totaled $26,314.00.

Mr. Ferrer thanked IRS-CI and the Secret Service for their work on this case. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisa Castrolugo.

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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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