Boston – A Florida man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Worcester today to participating in a scheme to steal more than $110,000 from the federal government.
Sniders Jean-Jacques, 26, of Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., pleaded guilty to theft of public money. In June 2014, Jean-Jacques was charged in a felony information. Sentencing is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014 at 2:30 pm.
In early 2013, Jean-Jacques and a co-conspirator, Marvin Lubin, recruited several individuals in Worcester to work as couriers in a scheme to steal and launder Social Security and IRS tax refund payments. At the direction of Jean-Jacques or Lubin, the couriers opened bank accounts in Massachusetts in the names of fake businesses. On various dates in 2013, illegally obtained Social Security benefits and IRS refunds were directly deposited into the accounts. At the direction of Jean-Jacques or Lubin, the couriers immediately withdrew the money in cash, and then delivered the cash. Jean-Jacques or Lubin would typically authorize the couriers to retain a portion of the stolen money as payment for their courier services. In recorded phone calls in late 2013, Jean-Jacques instructed one of the couriers not to withdraw more than $10,000 per day to avoid having to fill out forms at the bank. He also told the courier, “we move money for people . . . and we get a percentage.”
The investigation so far has determined that as part of this scheme, Social Security payments totaling $11,689 were illegally obtained under the identities of 14 victims, and IRS payments totaling $98,610 were illegally obtained under the identities of 20 victims. In April 2014, Lubin pleaded guilty for his role in this scheme.
The charging statute provides a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater, and restitution. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge U.S. Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; Lisa Quinn, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service; Phillip Coyne, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigations; and Worcester Police Chief Gary J. Gemme, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Timothy Landry of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.