Miami Resident Sentenced for Identity Theft
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Michael J. DePalma, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), announced today the sentencing of defendant Josue Faustin, 21, of Miami. United States District Judge William J. Zloch sentenced Faustin to 27 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. In addition, the defendant was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $43,591.90.
Faustin engaged in a fraud scheme using stolen identities to file fraudulent tax returns. The tax returns falsely claimed refunds and requested that the refunds be direct-deposited into Netspend debit card accounts which Faustin had opened in the names of unwitting identity theft victims. Faustin subsequently went to various ATM machines in Coral Springs, Broward County, and withdrew funds from the Netspend debit card accounts.
According to documents filed with the court, on May 17, 2012, Faustin was observed by a Coral Springs police officer as he went to CVS and 7-11 stores, and bought pre-paid credit cards. After the purchases, Faustin went to ATM machines and withdrew money. After being pulled over for a traffic stop, Faustin was found in possession of bundles of cash totaling $5,881, 3 cell phones, 15 Netspend debit cards loaded with approximately $30,000 from tax refunds, and 4 newly purchased debit cards.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Keene.
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.