North Miami Resident Arrested and Charged with Identity Theft
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), announced the unsealing of a twenty (20) count indictment, filed on November 15, 2012, charging Josue Faustin, 20, of North Miami, with conspiracy, possession of unauthorized access devices, aggravated identity theft and theft of government property involving a debit card scheme in Broward County, Florida. Defendant Faustin made his initial appearance in federal court earlier today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alicia Otazo-Reyes in Ft. Lauderdale.
As set forth in the indictment, Faustin engaged in a fraud scheme using stolen identities to file fraudulent tax returns. The tax returns falsely claimed refunds and requested that the refunds be direct-deposited into Netspend debit card accounts, which the defendant had opened in the names of the unwitting identity theft victims. The defendant subsequently went to various ATM machines in Coral Springs, Broward County, and withdrew funds from the Netspend debit card accounts.
If convicted, the defendant faces maximum penalties of up to 5 years in prison as to count 1; 10 years in prison as to count 2; a mandatory minimum of 2 years in prison consecutive to any sentence imposed as to counts 3-5; and 10 years in prison as to each of counts 6 through 20.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the agents of IRS-CID for their work in this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Keene.
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.