News and Press Releases

Broward Man Sentenced in Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 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 (IRS-CI), and Antonio J. Gomez, Acting Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Miami Division, announce the sentencing of defendant Luis Enrique Ledee Bernard, a/k/a “Luis L. Bernard,” 21, of Miramar. Bernard was sentenced to 30 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. The defendant was also ordered to pay $22,000 in restitution. Bernard pled guilty on December 17, 2012 to one count of theft of government funds and one count of aggravated identity theft.

On October 9, 2012, the defendant was charged in a seventeen count indictment in connection with a scheme to obtain fraudulent tax return proceeds. According to the indictment, the defendant deposited nine (9) fraudulent tax refund checks that were fraudulently obtained by using the stolen personal identification information of at least (4) persons who were deceased. The proceeds from the nine fraudulent tax return refunds were direct-deposited into the defendant's bank account.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Identity Theft Tax Refund Strike Force, with special commendation to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gera Peoples.

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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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