Four People Charged in Stolen Identity Fraud and Money Laundering Scheme Targeting Banks and COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Funds
A Lauderhill, Florida, man pleaded guilty today to aggravated identity theft and conspiring to use stolen IDs to file fraudulent tax returns, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg for the Southern District of Florida and Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
According to documents filed with the court, from approximately 2008 through January 2015, in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, Evens Julien and others, used stolen IDs, including the personal identifying information of prisoners and deceased individuals, to file over 2,000 tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These fraudulent returns sought more than $2 million in refunds. Julien and his co-conspirators recruited others to obtain Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFIN) from the IRS in their names and used the EFINs to file the fraudulent returns. They directed the refunds to debit cards and treasury checks and had them mailed to South Florida addresses. They then cashed the fraudulently obtained refund checks at check cashing stores and used Western Union and ATMs to withdraw the funds.
Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 27 before U.S. District Court Judge Federico A. Moreno. Julien faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy charge and a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft charge. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.
Acting U.S. Attorney Greenberg and Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Karadbil and Assistant Chief Greg Tortella of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.