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Press Release

Former Local Resident Sentenced for Fraud, Identity Theft, and Failure to Register as Sex Offender

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Florida

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – United States Attorney Pamela C. Marsh announced today that United States District Judge Robert Hinkle sentenced Jerry Samuel Joseph, 33, formerly of Tallahassee, to a total of 81 months in federal prison on two indictments.  One case involved five charges relating to fraudulent federal income tax returns, and the other case involved failing to register as a sex offender.

In a case indicted in the Northern District of Florida, Joseph pled guilty to conspiring to file false claims against the United States, two charges of converting government funds, using the U.S. Postal Service to commit fraud, and using stolen identity information to commit fraud.  Joseph was sentenced to 57 months for each of the first four charges and to a 24-month consecutive sentence for using stolen identity information to commit fraud.

This first case involved approximately 71 fraudulent federal income tax returns filed in 2011 and 2012, seeking refunds totaling $352,721.  These returns generated actual refunds totaling $134,931.00 in checks that were mailed to an apartment complex in Tallahassee.  Joseph created the fraudulent returns, arranged for them to be filed, and directed others to retrieve and to cash the refund checks. 

In a second case, indicted in the Eastern District of New York, Joseph pled guilty to failing to register as a sex offender.  This case was transferred to the Northern District of Florida for plea and sentencing.  Joseph received a 57-month sentence in this case, concurrent with the sentences imposed in the fraud case.

Joseph was previously convicted in South Carolina in 1998 of Criminal Sexual Conduct With a Minor Under the Age of Sixteen, and in Dade County, Florida, in 2006 of Lewd and Lascivious Battery on a Child aged 12 to 16 and of Failing to Register as a Sex Offender.  As a convicted sex offender, Joseph was required to register with authorities under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”) and to keep that registration current.  Joseph initially registered in 2008, when he was released from the Florida Department of Corrections and moved to Tallahassee.  However, after being questioned about his involvement in fraudulent activity, Joseph left Tallahassee in 2009.  Agents investigating the fraud case learned that Joseph was living and working in Brooklyn, New York, under the name “Jerry Geudy.”  Joseph was arrested on the federal fraud charges and for state probation violations on June 7, 2013.  He admitted that he had been living in New York for about four years and that he had not registered as a sex offender during that time.

When released from the Bureau of Prisons, Joseph will serve a ten-year term of supervised release, with requirements that he continue to register under SORNA, that he receive sex offender treatment, and that he have no unsupervised contact with minors.  Joseph was also ordered to pay $600 in special monetary assessments.  Judge Hinkle advised that he would set a restitution amount at a later date.

U.S. Attorney Marsh praised the joint efforts of the Internal Revenue Service, the Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspectors, and the United States Marshals Service.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael T. Simpson (NDFL) and Tyler Smith (EDNY) prosecuted this case.

Updated January 26, 2015