News and Press Releases

Owner of North Miami Beach Dry Cleaner Pleads Guilty in Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 11, 2012

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), Miami Field Office, and Larry Gomer, Interim Chief, North Miami Beach Police Department (NMBPD), announced that Frantz Auguste, 53, of Sunny Isles, pled guilty yesterday to one count of access device fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft in connection with an identity theft tax refund fraud scheme. Sentencing has been scheduled for February 22, 2013 at 2:30 pm before U.S. District Judge Donald L. Graham.

According to documents filed in Court, law enforcement searched Auguste’s dry cleaning business in North Miami Beach on October 4, 2012, and found the following in a locked room for which Auguste had the only key:

• Handwritten notes and lists with the personal identification information, including names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers, of more than 100 individuals. Several of these lists appeared to have originated from a local nursing home and rehabilitation center.
• Multiple tax refund checks in different individuals’ names.
• Multiple tax returns in different individuals’ names.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CID and the NMBPD 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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