Two Plead Guilty in Tax Refund Fraud and Identity Theft Scheme
PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA – Jermaine Winters, 39, of Coleman, Florida, and Rosetta Presley, 23, of Chipley, Florida, pled guilty today to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and identity theft in connection with the electronic filing of false federal income tax returns. The pleas were announced today by Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
During their pleas, Winters and Presley admitted that between July 2011 and July 2012, they conspired to file fraudulent tax returns using the stolen identities of assisted-living facility residents at the Dogwood Inn in Bonifay, Florida, clinical laboratory patients at Sun Laboratory Services in the Tampa, Florida area, and others, in an attempt to steal more than $118,000 from the United States Treasury. Refunds issued on the fraudulent returns were loaded onto prepaid debit cards mailed to addresses in the Northern District of Florida.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 1, 2015, before United States District Judge Richard Smoak at the United States Courthouse, 30 West Government Street, Panama City, Florida. Winters and Presley face a maximum 20 years’ imprisonment for wire fraud, and a two-year minimum mandatory term of imprisonment for aggravated identity theft that must run consecutively to any other sentence.
The case is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Chipley Police Department, and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gayle Littleton.
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