Hollywood Man Convicted for Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud
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 Steven Steinberg, Chief, Aventura Police Department (Aventura PD), announced the conviction at trial of Jonathan Torres-Bonilla, 36, of two counts of access device fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1029(a)(2) and 1029(a)(3), and four counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A(a)(1), in connection with an identity theft tax refund fraud scheme.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, the defendant had been observed by plain-clothes Aventura PD officers at the Aventura Mall using multiple debit cards at multiple different ATMs on November 25, 2011. Aventura PD officers followed the defendant to the mall garage where he tried to flee in a minivan. The defendant was arrested when he refused to provide identification. The officers searched the defendant and his car and found 28 pre-paid debit cards (loaded with $117,000 in other people’s tax refunds), dozens of ATM receipts, and over $1,700 in cash.
Torres-Bonilla is scheduled to be sentenced on March 9, 2012. He faces a maximum prison sentence of 28 years.
Mr. Ferrer commended the efforts of IRS-CID and Aventura PD for their work on the case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael N. Berger.
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.