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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 21, 2014

Miami Resident Sentenced To 81 Months In IRS Fraudulent Refund Scheme



Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, and Daniel C. Alexander, Chief, Boca Raton Police Department, announce today that Brandon James, of Miami, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley to 81 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. James was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $382,444, and a special assessment of $300.

According to court documents and statements made in court, James was involved in cashing out fraudulent federal income tax refunds that had been placed electronically onto debit cards. James and his co-conspirators, Laron Larkin, and Eric Fussell, attempted to defraud the IRS of more than $862,000 in fraudulent income tax refunds based on at least 121 stolen identities. The IRS paid approximately $382,484 on these refund requests.

James pled guilty earlier to conspiracy to steal government monies, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371 (Count 1), theft of government funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641 (Count 4), and aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A (Count 9).

Co-defendant Larkin was sentenced on October 7, 2013 to 36 months and one day in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Larkin pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to steal monies of the United States, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641, the conspiracy being a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371; and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI, FBI, and the Boca Raton Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Carlton.

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