Florida Return Preparers Indicted for Using Stolen IDs to File Fraudulent Tax Returns
A federal grand jury sitting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, returned an indictment on Feb. 23, which was unsealed today, charging three Broward County return preparers with conspiracy, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg for the Southern District of Florida.
According to the indictment, Luczor Fertilien, Frantz Petit-Dos and David Joseph owned two tax preparation businesses in Lauderhill, Florida: Imperial Taxation and Multi-Services Corp. and Aleluya Universal Accounting Services Inc. The indictment alleges that from approximately December 2009 through March 2016, Fertilien, Petit-Dos and Joseph sought fraudulent refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by filing tax returns in the names of people whose IDs had been stolen, including a number of deceased individuals. The indictment further alleges that the three men filed fraudulent returns for their clients seeking refunds to which the clients were not entitled, both by reporting fictitious business income and by claiming dead individuals as dependents.
Fertilien self-surrendered and Joseph was arrested earlier today. Petit-Dos remains a fugitive and is being sought.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. It merely alleges that crimes have been committed. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted, Fertilien, Petit-Dos and Joseph face a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison on the conspiracy count, a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud and a mandatory sentence of two years in prison for each count of aggravated identity theft. In addition, all three defendants face a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg and Acting U.S. Attorney Greenberg thanked special agents of IRS–Criminal Investigation and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Karadbil and Assistant Chief Greg Tortella of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.