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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 11, 2014

Former TD Bank Employee And Co-Defendant Sentenced In Identity Theft Tax Fraud Scheme



Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Donnell Young, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and Paula Reid, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service (USSS), announce that Tenisha Nkesha Francis, 32, of Lake Worth, and Ryan Michael Francis, 27, of Riviera Beach, were sentenced today before Senior U.S. District Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp for their participation in a stolen identity tax refund scheme. Tensiha Francis was sentenced to 42 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $117,002 in restitution. Ryan Francis was sentenced to 57 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $202,720 in restitution.

The defendants each previously pled guilty to one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1028A(a)(1) and 2, and one count of theft of government funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 641 and 2.

According to court documents, Tenisha Francis worked as a Financial Services Representative at TD Bank. Tenisha Francis opened seven fraudulent accounts at the bank with stolen identification information obtained from co-defendant Ryan Francis. She was paid between $200 and $500 to open each fraudulent account. After opening the accounts, Tenisha Francis performed maintenance on these accounts and changed certain identifiers associated with the accounts, such as customers’ dates of birth, addresses and telephone numbers. Stolen U.S. Treasury checks were deposited into the accounts, and funds were withdrawn via check card purchases, ATM withdrawals and checks payable to third parties including Ryan Francis and his wife, Vanessa Brown, and Ryan Francis’ company, J.A. Kingz Automotive, LLC.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI and the USSS. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rinku Tribuiani.

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 12, 2015