News and Press Releases

Former NFL Star Sentenced on Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud Scheme

November 30, 2012

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Michael A. Steinbach, 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 William Joseph, 33, of Miami, was sentenced today to 2 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for his participation in an identity theft tax refund fraud scheme. Joseph pled guilty on August 31, 2012 to one count of theft of government money and one count of aggravated identity theft.

According to court documents, the defendant and seven others were charged 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 court documents, in March and April 2012, the defendant cashed or assisted in the cashing of 13 fraudulently obtained income tax refund checks (totaling approximately $70,000) at the store for around sixty percent of face value. The defendant provided fake identification documents to the undercover agent at the store matching the names of the victims on the checks. The defendant 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 Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on

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