News and Press Releases

Cutler Bay Man Sentenced in $12 Million Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud Scheme Involving the Cashing of Thousands of Fraudulently Obtained U.S. Treasury Checks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5, 2013

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Michael J. DePalma, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Paula A. Reid, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service (USSS), Ronald Verrochio, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Miami Field Office, and Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announced the sentencing of defendant Jesus Calvo, 30 of Cutler Bay, for his role in an identity theft tax refund fraud scheme, to 58 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez also ordered the defendant to pay $9.2 million in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

According to the factual proffer, the defendant operated a check cashing store called J&S Taxes in Perrine, Florida. Beginning in or around February 2012, and continuing through in or around June 2012, the defendant cashed thousands of fraudulently obtained United States Department of Treasury income tax refund checks (totaling approximately $12MM) that were brought by co-conspirators. The defendant knew that the checks had been obtained by fraud and without authorization of the true taxpayer.

According to the factual proffer, the defendant received more than the standard fee for cashing the checks because the tax-refund checks had been obtained by fraud. The standard fee for cashing these checks would have been from two to five percent. However, the defendant took much more than that fee and used this money for his own personal expenditures – he purchased two houses, he funded his retirement account, he invested in a “start-up company,” he purchased an investment property, and he purchased cars and other items.

According to the plea agreement and statements made in court, the defendant agreed to forfeit two houses, five cars, three bank accounts, high-end watches, jewelry and cash. These assets had an estimated value of approximately $2 million.

Mr. Ferrer thanked IRS-CI, USSS, USPIS, and FBI for their work on this case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael N. Berger, Evelyn Sheehan and Elijah Levitt.

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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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