Citrus County Man Pleads Guilty To Receiving Stolen Benefit Payments From The Department Of Veterans Affairs
Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that a federal jury has found Dickenson Elan (40, Clearwater) guilty of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) conspiracy. Elan faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 7, 2024. Elan had been indicted on September 7, 2022.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, between January 2016 and April 2017, Elan participated in the RICO conspiracy with coconspirators Andi Jacques (42, Greenacres) and Louisant Jolteus (37, West Palm Beach), and a now deceased conspirator who was referenced in the indictment as RICH4EVER4430. Elan and Jacques created and operated at least six fraudulent tax businesses together to file false tax returns in the names of thousands of victims. They also registered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) preparer tax identification numbers using the names and information of identity theft victims, to make it appear that those victims were the individuals who were filing false returns in bulk.
Some of the personal identifiable information (PII) used to file these returns was stolen from victims who had come into the tax businesses to file their taxes. Other PII was obtained by using a dark web marketplace to purchase server credentials for the computer servers of Certified Public Accounting (CPA) and tax preparation firms across the country. The server credentials were then used to remotely and covertly commit computer intrusions and exfiltrate the tax returns of thousands of taxpayers who were clients of those CPA and tax preparation firms. The PII from those taxpayers was traced back to returns filed through the false businesses that Elan and Jacques had created. The conspirators directed the resulting tax refunds to debit cards and bank accounts that they controlled. During the 2016 and 2017 tax seasons, the conspirators attempted to obtain more than $16 million in false tax returns and preparers’ fees from the IRS. The photo below was found in Elan’s email account and was sent after the 2016 tax season.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John M. Gardella and William S. Hamilton.