News and Press Releases

Miami-Dade Resident Pleads Guilty in Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 18, 2013

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Paula Reid, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service (USSS), and José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), announce that defendant Peter Michael Daniel, 29, of Miami-Dade, pled guilty yesterday for his participation in a stolen identity tax refund scheme. Sentencing is scheduled for February 18, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks.

Daniel pled guilty to one count of access device theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(3). At sentencing, the defendant faces a maximum term of ten years in prison.

According to the plea documents, Daniel admitted to participating in a tax fraud scheme with unindicted co-conspirators to file false tax returns using the personal identification information of individuals without their permission and to have those proceeds directly deposited on prepaid debit cards.

Plea documents also state that Daniel voluntarily provided law enforcement with five loose leaf sheets of paper that contained the names, date of births, and social security numbers of 81 individuals. Daniel admitted that the personal identification information including the social security numbers of the individuals listed on the loose leaf papers were used to file false tax returns. Further investigation revealed that more than ten but less than fifty of the individuals whose names, social security numbers, and date of births were listed on the loose leaf papers had false tax returns filed without their authority.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Secret Service, IRS-CI, and Lee County Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gera R. Peoples.

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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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