Owner Of Financial Services Firm Sentenced For Cashing Fraudulent Tax Refund Checks
Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Anne C. Conway has sentenced Wilson Benjamin to three years and ten months in federal prison for theft of government property. The Court also ordered him to forfeit three real estate properties, which are traceable to proceeds of the offense. In addition, a money judgment was entered in the amount of $4 million, the proceeds of the fraud. Benjamin pleaded guilty on January 7, 2015.
According to court documents, Benjamin owned and operated a financial services company, Benjamin Financial Services, which included a tax preparation business and a check cashing service. Between March 2011 and December 2011, he used his check cashing operation to cash approximately $17.8 million in fraudulent federal tax refund checks. The checks were brought to Benjamin by individuals who had filed fraudulent tax returns in other peoples’ names in order to obtain the refund checks.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation and the United States Secret Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vincent S. Chiu.