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Press Release

Florida Man Sentenced To Sixty Months In Federal Prison For Fraudulent Tax Refund Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Georgia

VALDOSTA: Charles E. Peeler, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announces that on August 15, 2018, Tony Cherenfant, age 34, of Miami, Florida, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Hugh Lawson in Valdosta to 60 months in federal prison and ordered to make restitution to the United States Treasury in the amount of $582,751 for his involvement in a conspiracy to steal government funds through a fraudulent tax refund scheme. 

In his plea agreement, Mr. Cherenfant admitted that he was stopped on Interstate 75 for a traffic violation.  During a probable cause search of the car, deputies found the personal identifying information of approximately 1500 individuals, including names, birth dates, and social security numbers, as well as tax refund documents.  Mr. Cherenfant subsequently admitted his involvement in a conspiracy which resulted in the filing of approximately 400 fraudulent federal tax returns with the IRS which claimed refunds of $1,285,729.  Actual refunds paid on those claims filed without the knowledge or permission of the taxpayers whose identities were used totaled $582,751.

“Mr. Cherenfant used the identities of innocent taxpayers to steal money from the United States,” said United States Attorney Charles E. Peeler.  “I thank the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office and IRS-Criminal Investigations for helping to send Mr. Cherenfant to federal prison.”

The case was investigated by the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office and IRS-Criminal Investigations.  Assistant United States Attorney Robert D. McCullers is prosecuting the case for the United States.

Questions concerning this case should be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603.

Updated August 16, 2018