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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Maurice Larry Sentenced To More Than 14 Years For Tax Fraud In Second Case In As Many Days

Tampa, FL - U.S. District Judge James S. Moody, Jr. today sentenced Maurice J. Larry to 14 ½ years in federal prison for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft charges stemming from his scheme to defraud the IRS with co-defendant, Rashia Wilson. The court also ordered Larry to forfeit $2,240,096.39, the traceable proceeds of the offense.

He pleaded guilty on April 11, 2013. Larry will serve this sentence concurrently with his sentence from another unrelated tax fraud case. Judge Kovachevich sentenced Larry to 8 years and 5 months in prison yesterday for his involvement in the other tax fraud case. According to court documents, Larry and his co-conspirator, Rashia Wilson, engaged in a scheme to defraud the Internal Revenue Service by negotiating fraudulently obtained tax refunds. They did so by receiving U.S. Treasury checks and pre-paid debit cards that were loaded with proceeds derived from filing false and fraudulent federal income tax returns in other persons' names, without those persons’ permission or knowledge. Larry and Wilson filed these false and fraudulent federal income tax returns from multiple locations, including Wilson's residence and hotels in the Tampa area. Wilson, Larry, and others then used these fraudulently obtained tax refunds to make hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of retail purchases, to purchase money orders, and to withdraw cash.

During the course of the investigation, agents searched Wilson's residence and Larry's storage unit. They recovered thousands of names and social security numbers found in ledgers and various other records. Additional reloadable debit cards loaded with fraudulent tax refunds were also found in both locations.
The IRS estimates that the actual loss from Wilson and Larry's scheme is at least $3,147,477, and the intended loss is in excess of $11 million.

IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge James D. Robnett said, "Individuals who commit refund fraud and identity theft of this magnitude and with this degree of trickery, dishonesty and deceit, deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. IRS Criminal Investigation, along with our Tampa Bay alliance partners and the United States Attorney's Office, remain vigilant in identifying, investigating and prosecuting those individuals who seek to willfully defraud the United States Treasury and blatantly disregard the victims of their schemes."

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, the United States Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Tampa Police Department, and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sara C. Sweeney and Mandy Riedel.

Updated January 26, 2015