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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Palm Beach Resident Pleads Guilty in Stolen Identity Tax Fraud Scheme

A Palm Beach resident pled guilty for his participation in a stolen identity tax fraud scheme.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement.

Raphael Oswald, a/k/a Mackenson R. Olibrice,37 Rivera Beach, Florida, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343, one count of theft of public money, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641, and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A.

According to court documents, in August 2013, law enforcement began investigating Oswald for identity theft charges related to his use of the stolen identity of a woman to purchase and finance a 2006 Porsche and BMW X-5 in New York. Specifically, the defendant walked into two separate car dealerships and presented a fraudulent passport and fraudulent Florida driver’s license in the name of the woman but bearing Oswald’s photo.

During the course of the initial identity theft investigation, a separate tax refund fraud scheme involving Oswald was discovered. Oswald possessed and used stolen personal identifying information of numerous individuals, and used the information to file fraudulent tax returns and collect tax refunds in the name of those individuals. More than one hundred fraudulent federal tax returns were filed, and the fraudulent refunds totaling $139,308 were directed into bank accounts in the name of Oswald’s company. Oswald then made a series of cash withdrawals and made several purchases for personal items from the bank accounts.

Oswald is scheduled to be sentenced on February 7, 2017 before United States District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga. At sentencing, the defendant faces up to twenty years in prison for the wire fraud charge, up to ten years in prison for the theft of public money charge, and two years’ imprisonment, consecutive to any other prison term, for the aggravated identity theft charge.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia R. Wood.

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 November 30, 2016