News and Press Releases

Miami Woman Convicted in Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 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), Tom Caul, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG), and Steven Steinberg, Chief, Aventura Police Department, announced today the conviction at trial of Natoya Mashea Handy, 30, of Miami, for her participation in a tax refund scheme using stolen identities to convert government monies for her own use. More specifically, on Friday, April 12, 2013, Handy was convicted by a jury of one count of access device fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(3), and five counts of aggravated identity theft in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A, in connection with an identity theft tax refund fraud scheme.

The Honorable Robin S. Rosenbaum, U.S. District Judge, scheduled sentencing for June 24, 2013 at 9:00 A.M.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, on or about April 5, 2012, the defendant was found with at least fifteen (15) social security numbers, names, and dates of birth belonging to persons who were formerly or presently incarcerated by the state of Florida. The trial testimony and evidence further showed that fraudulent tax returns were filed for tax year 2011 for seventeen (17) of the individuals whose social security numbers the defendant possessed. Each of these fraudulent tax returns fraudulently claimed entitlement to a refund, amounting to thousands of dollars in fraud.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Identity Theft Tax Refund Strike Force, with special commendation to the City of Aventura Police Department, the City of Miami Gardens Police Department, and IRS-CID, with assistance from the SSA-OIG. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexandra Hui and Amanda Perwin.

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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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