News and Press Releases

Former NFL Player Sentenced to 28 Months in Prison for Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2012

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Michael B. Steinbach, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), announced that Louis Gachelin, 31, of Miami, was sentenced today to 28 months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release, for his participation in an identity theft tax refund fraud scheme. Gachelin pled guilty on July 13, 2012 to one count of theft of government money and one count of aggravated identity theft.

According to court documents, the defendant was charged, along with seven others, in an FBI sting operation. From February 2012 to April 2012, the FBI operated a financial services store (the store) in North Miami that accepted fraudulently obtained tax refund checks from individuals looking to cash those checks.

According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court, in March and April 2012, Gachelin cashed and attempted to cash 29 fraudulently obtained income tax refund checks (totaling approximately $100,000) at the store for around 60% of face value. To execute the scheme, Gachelin provided handwritten names, dates of birth, and social security numbers matching the names of the victims on the checks. He also forged the signatures of the victims on the back of some of the checks.

Mr. Ferrer commended the FBI and IRS-CI for their work on the case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael N. Berger.

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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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