News and Press Releases

Husband and Wife Sentenced in Stolen Identity Tax Refund Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 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, Rafael P. Hernandez, Jr., Chief, North Miami Beach Police Department, announced that defendants Douglas Michael Young, a/k/a “Douglas Pierre,” 41, and his wife, Nicole Young, a/k/a “Nicole Pierre,” a/k/a Nicole Pierre Smith, 42, both of Miramar, were sentenced yesterday for their participation in a stolen identity tax refund scheme. Douglas Young was sentenced to 61 months’ imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release. Nicole Young was sentenced to 54 months’ imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release. In addition, the defendants were ordered to pay joint and several liability restitution in the amount of $849,052.87. Douglas and Nicole Young (the Youngs) had previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to steal government property, one count of theft of government property, and one count of aggravated identity theft.

On October 5, 2011, six (6) defendants were charged in a nine count indictment for their participation in a tax refund scheme that resulted in the submission of approximately $1,207,389.00 in fraudulent claims for refunds using the personal identification information of unknowing. Charged in the indictment were Douglas Young and Nicole Young, Jeffrey Andre Young, Jr., 31, and Ernest V. Charles, 37, both of Miami, and Joseph Bshara, 27, and Siham Benabdallah, 23, both of Miami Shores, Florida.

According to the indictment, the Youngs owned and operated two tax preparation companies, Supreme Tax and Young Professional Services, Inc. The Youngs would obtain identification information from unknowing victims and use their identification information without their authorization to file fraudulent refund claims. In furtherance of the scheme, the Youngs charged the unknowing victims a “fee” for their purported tax preparation services. The Youngs would deduct the “fee” from any tax refunds and would deposit the “fee” into bank accounts they controlled. The remainder of the refunds would be converted into personal checks that would be deposited into bank accounts controlled by co-defendants Ernest V. Charles, Joseph Bshara, and Siham Benabdallah. Defendant Jeffrey Andre Young, Jr. would deliver the personal checks to Joseph Bshara and Siham Benabdallah for deposit into the bank accounts that they controlled.

On April 9, 2013, co-defendant Jeffrey Andre Young, Jr was sentenced to 34 months imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release after having previously pled guilty to one count of theft of government property and one count of aggravated identity theft. On that same date, Siham Benabdallah, was sentenced to time served followed by supervised release of three years after having pled guilty to one count of theft of government property.

On January 29, 2013, co-defendant Joseph Bshara pled guilty to one count of theft of government property and one count of aggravated identity theft. Defendant Ernest V. Charles remains at large.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Identity Theft Tax Refund Strike Force, with special commendation to IRS-CI and the North Miami Beach Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kurt Lunkenheimer.

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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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