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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Miami-Dade Resident was Sentenced for Selling Personal Identifying Information to be used in a Tax Refund Fraud Scheme

A Miami-Dade County resident was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison, followed by two years of supervised release for selling personal identifying information (PII), including stolen names, dates of birth, and social security numbers belonging to real individuals (most of whom were from the State of Rhode Island), to be used in a tax refund fraud scheme.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alysa D. Erichs, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), and Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement.

Jeff Pierre Michel, 25, previously pled guilty to one count of access device fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(2).

According to court documents, on April 8, 2013, a confidential law enforcement source arranged for Michel to sell PII to an undercover law enforcement officer.  On April 9, 2013, Michel sold 100 pieces of PII, belonging to 100 different individuals, to the undercover law enforcement officer in exchange for $500.  On April 22, 2013, Michel sold additional pieces of PII (less than the previously agreed upon amount of 150 pieces of PII) to an undercover law enforcement officer in exchange for $800.  In order to compensate for the missing PII, Michel provided the undercover law enforcement officer with a TurboTax username and password.  Michel intended that the PII would be used, along with the TurboTax username and password, to commit stolen identity income tax refund fraud over the internet.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI and IRS-CI.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank R. Maderal.

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 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 www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Topic(s): 
Identity Theft
Updated May 14, 2015