Ringleader Of Tax And Social Security Scheme Sentenced
BOSTON – A Florida man was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Worcester yesterday for leading a scheme to steal and launder over $100,000 in government funds.
Sniders Jean-Jacques, 27, of Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman to 24 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $110,299 in restitution to the federal government. In July 2014, Jean-Jacques pleaded guilty to theft of government money.
In early 2013, Jean-Jacques and a Worcester man, Marvin Lubin, recruited couriers in Worcester to open bank accounts in the name of sham businesses. Social Security benefits and IRS tax refund payments, all illegally obtained using stolen identities, were then deposited to the accounts. At the direction of Lubin and Jean-Jacques, cash was immediately withdrawn following each deposit and delivered by the couriers as instructed. All of the money involved represents funds stolen from the United States government.
Forty-five victims had their identities used as part of Jean-Jacques’s scheme: 13 victims’ identities were used to steal Social Security payments, and 32 victims’ identities were used to steal tax refunds.
“Identity theft wreaks havoc in people’s financial lives and Social Security fraud deprives citizens in need of important benefits,” said United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. “Targeting such schemes is a federal enforcement priority.”
“Our office is committed to partnering with law enforcement agencies and pursuing perpetrators of identity theft and electronic government fraud schemes similar to the Worcester-based operation directed by Mr. Jean-Jacques,” said Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Office of Inspector General, Social Security Administration, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division. “To protect themselves from similar identity theft schemes, all citizens should safeguard their personal information, regularly monitor their financial accounts and any government benefit accounts, and report any suspicious account activity to the appropriate authorities.”
In October 2014, Lubin was sentenced to one year and one day in prison for his role in this scheme. Four others have pleaded guilty in connection with this scheme: couriers Juanita Hall, Natalia Santana, and Shantelle Smith; and Emeline Lubin, Marvin Lubin’s sister, who stole names and Social Security numbers from her then employer, Tufts Health Plan, and supplied the stolen information to Jean-Jacques for use in the scheme.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the 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 A. 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; Worcester Police Chief Gary J. Gemme; and Norwood Police Chief William G. Brooks III, made the announcement. The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Landry of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.