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Press Release

Ten People Plead Guilty in $11.1 Million Tax Refund and Food Stamp Fraud Conspiracy

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

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Ten defendants pled guilty this week to conspiracy, theft of government funds, and aggravated identity theft.  The pleas were announced by Christopher P. Canova, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

The defendants are:

  • Ja’baree Vazquez Allen, 26, Tallahassee, Florida;

  • Ronald Edward Brown, 28, Quincy, Florida;

  • Anre’ Juardon Davis, 34, St. Petersburg, Florida;

  • Addrain Montez McMillan, 29, Overland Park, Kansas;

  • Rashard LaVonta McMillian, 27, Quincy, Florida;

  • Jasmine Junae Robinson, 26, Tallahassee, Florida;

  • Daria Patrice Simmons, 34, Tampa, Florida;

  • Jazzman Shabazz Simmons, 27, Tallahassee, Florida;

  • John Walter Simmons, 35, Tampa, Florida; and

  • Mercedes Shevon Sutton, 25, Tampa, Florida.

During their guilty pleas, the defendants admitted that they conspired to file fraudulent income tax returns using stolen personal identifying information (PII) from approximately 2,800 individuals.  The PII sources included an insurance provider and an online database.  The stolen PII was used to file 1,466 fraudulent income tax returns, claiming refunds of approximately $11.1 million and resulting in $2,695,253 being issued by the IRS.  During their pleas, Sutton, John Simmons, and Jazzman Simmons also acknowledged their involvement in a scheme to file fraudulent Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applications.  Between August 2013 and January 2014, stolen PII was used to electronically submit 165 fraudulent food stamp applications, seeking $176,704 in benefits.

The sentencing hearings are scheduled as follows at the United States Courthouse in Tallahassee:

  • May 31, 2016: Davis (9:00 a.m.) and Robinson (10:30 a.m.)

  • June 1, 2016: Sutton (9:00 a.m.) and Addrain McMillan (10:30 a.m.)

  • June 2, 2016: Brown (9:00 a.m.), Daria Simmons (10:30 a.m.), and Allen (2:00 p.m.)

  • June 3, 2016: Rashard McMillian (9:00 a.m.), Jazzman Simmons (10:30 a.m.), and John Simmons (2:00 p.m.)

The defendants face a maximum of 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 10 years in prison for theft of government funds.  Allen, Brown, Davis, Addrain McMillan, Rashard McMillian, Robinson, Daria Simmons, Jazzman Simmons, and John Simmons also face a mandatory term of two years in prison for aggravated identify theft.  Additionally, John Simmons faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

This case resulted from an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Tallahassee Police Department, and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Jason R. Coody is prosecuting the case.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General.  The office strives to protect and serve the citizens of the Northern District of Florida through the ethical, vigorous, and impartial enforcement of the laws of the United States, to defend the national security, to improve the safety and quality of life in our communities through the protection of civil rights, and to protect the public funds and financial assets of the United States.  To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website.  For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.

For more information, contact:
Amy Alexander, Public Information Officer
(850) 216-3854, amy.alexander@usdoj.gov

Updated February 8, 2016

Topics
Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Tax