News and Press Releases

Palm Beach County Man Pleads Guilty in Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2013

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Paula A. Reid, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service (USSS), and José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), announced that defendant Jeanson Pata, 31, of West Palm Beach, pled guilty before U.S. District Judge James I. Cohn to two counts of theft of government money or property in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641, and one count of false statement to a federal agency in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001. He faces a possible maximum statutory sentence of 25 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled before Judge Cohn for May 14, 2013, at 9:00 a.m.

According to documents filed in court, on or before May 27, 2010, the defendant, Jeanson Pata, gave his SunTrust Bank debit card and PIN to his cousin (and co-defendant) Fednol Pierre, so that Pierre could deposit stolen tax refund checks into Pata’s bank account. Pierre deposited two such checks into Pata’s checking account, totaling $14,078, on May 27, 2010, and June 10, 2010. Shortly after each deposit, Pierre, with help from Pata, withdrew most of those funds at ATMs, grocery stores, and the teller window. Pata also transferred a total of $1,200 of those funds into his own savings account.

Additionally, according to documents filed in court, on November 20, 2012, Pata falsely told a U.S. Secret Service Special Agent that he had not received payment for allowing Pierre to use his bank account to deposit checks.

Mr. Ferrer thanked USSS and IRS-CI for their work on the case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin C. Coats.

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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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