SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Cerrone Hall, age 30, of the Bronx, New York, was sentenced today to serve five years in prison in connection with mail and wire fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft charges, announced United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith, James Robnett, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigations, New York Field Office, and Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division. In addition to his prison term of five years, Cerrone Hall was also sentenced to a 3-year term of supervised release following his release from incarceration and was ordered to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $478,320.00.
As part of his previous guilty plea, Cerrone Hall admitted that he conspired to steal federal income tax refunds as part of scheme involving fraudulent tax returns filed using stolen identities from residents of Puerto Rico. The scheme involved an attempt to steal a total of 2.8 million dollars in refunds from fraudulent tax returns filed with the stolen identities The IRS mailed refund checks generated from these false returns to residential locations (chosen by Hall and his co-conspirators) of uninvolved residents in the Syracuse and Binghamton, New York areas. Cerrone Hall and three co-defendants were stopped by police on September 26, 2011, as they were in the process of stealing tax refund checks from mailboxes in Dewitt, New York. Following the discovery of the scheme, the IRS was able to prevent payment of many of the refunds. Cerrone Hall’s three co-defendants have pled guilty and are scheduled to be sentenced in May 2018.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Town of Dewitt Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Southwick.