News and Press Releases

Fort Lauderdale Woman Convicted in Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud Scheme Involving the Filing of Approximately 2,000 Fraudulent Tax Returns Seeking $11 Million Dollars in Refunds

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 29, 2013

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 Paula Reid, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service (USSS), Miami Field Office, announced yesterday’s conviction at trial of Alci Bonannee, 36 of Fort Lauderdale, of one count of conspiracy to defraud the government in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 286, nine counts of filing false claims in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 287, nine counts of aggravated identity theft in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A, and fourteen counts of wire fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, the defendant was the primary perpetrator of an identity theft tax fraud scheme that operated from December 2010 to June 2012. During the course of the fraud scheme, there were approximately 2,000 fraudulent tax returns submitted to the Internal Revenue Service for payment seeking $11 million dollars in refunds. The Department of Treasury paid out several million dollars into bank accounts in the name of and controlled by the defendant and her co-conspirators. The defendant and her co-conspirators withdrew this money in cash.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, the defendant filed a large percentage of these fraudulent returns from her house in Fort Lauderdale, from her friends’ houses in Broward County and from a hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina. The defendant filed many of these fraudulent returns using compromised personal identification information obtained from a nurse at a local hospital.

Bonannee is scheduled to be sentenced on April 26, 2013. She faces a possible maximum prison sentence of 351 years.

Defendant’s co-conspirator, Chante Mozley, pled guilty to conspiracy to file fraudulent claims on January 9, 2013. Mozley faces a possible maximum prison sentence of 10 years. Sentencing is scheduled for March 28, 2013.

Defendant’s co-conspirator, Sonyini Clay, pled guilty to conspiracy to file fraudulent claims and aggravated identity theft on January 14, 2013. Clay faces a possible maximum prison sentence of 12 years. Sentencing is scheduled for April 26, 2013.

Mr. Ferrer commended IRS-CID and USSS for their work on the case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael N. Berger and Wilfredo Fernandez.

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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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