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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Defendant Sentenced to 8½ Years in Prison in Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud Scheme

A Broward County resident was sentenced to 102 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $876,215.00 in restitution in an identity theft tax refund fraud scheme.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and Paula Reid, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service (USSS), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.

Nick Caty, 44, of Tamarac, previously pled guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Co-defendant Junior Thompson, 35, of Tamarac, previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to use unauthorized access devices and one count of aggravated identity theft. Thompson is scheduled to be sentenced on February 13, 2015 before U.S. District Judge James I. Cohn. At sentencing, Thompson faces up to five years in prison for the access device charge, and a mandatory term of two years in prison, consecutive to any other term in prison, for the aggravated identity theft charge.

According to court documents, from January 2014 through March 2014, the defendants engaged in an identity theft tax refund fraud scheme in which they caused 352 fraudulent tax returns to be submitted to the IRS using stolen personal identity information (PII). The defendants sought $945,554 in refunds for deposit onto prepaid debit cards. In February 2014, the defendants withdrew money from different prepaid debit cards registered in different people's names and loaded with fraudulent tax refunds. Caty and Thomson agreed to share in the proceeds together from the debit cards and they also transferred debit cards between each other. In March 2014, law enforcement executed a search warrant at the defendants’ business and residence in Broward County and found lists with over 4,000 individuals’ PII.

Court documents also state that from January 2012 through October 2013, Caty used stolen PII to file fraudulent tax returns to the IRS seeking approximately $1 million in fraudulently obtained refunds for deposit into bank accounts he controlled.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI and the USSS. The case was being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael N. Berger.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Updated March 18, 2015