News and Press Releases

Defendant Convicted in Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 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 Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce the conviction of Nael Dawud Sammour, 52, of Pompano Beach, after a three day jury trial in front of U.S. District Court Judge William P. Dimitrouleas.

More specifically, Sammour was convicted of two counts of aggravated identity theft in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A, for his role in possessing and transferring the means of identification of identity theft victims in conjunction with the transfer and attempted negotiation of fraudulently obtained U.S. Treasury tax refund checks. Prior to trial, Sammour pled guilty to eight counts of theft of public money in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 641. Sentencing has been scheduled for July 1, 2013 at 1:15 P.M. in front of the Honorable William P. Dimitrouleas in Ft. Lauderdale. At sentencing, Sammour faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to ten years in prison on each of the theft of public money counts, as well as mandatory two year consecutive sentences on the Aggravated Identity Theft counts.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, as well as from court documents, unknown individuals used stolen identification information, including the names, dates of birth, and social security numbers of unsuspecting taxpayers to fraudulently apply for and receive U.S. tax refunds to which they were not entitled. Thereafter, Sammour obtained many of these fraudulently obtained U.S. Treasury tax refund checks and later transferred these checks, along with counterfeit driver’s licenses and Social Security cards, to undercover IRS agents posing as check cashers. In total, agents seized 75 fraudulently obtained U.S. Treasury tax refund checks totaling $750,369.45 from Defendant Sammour. Moreover, when Sammour was arrested, law enforcement located and seized $30,128.24 in U.S. currency.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the IRS-CID and the FBI for their work on the case. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Anton.

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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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