President And Vice-President Of Luxury Tax, Inc. Convicted Of Tax Refund Fraud Utilizing Stolen Personal Identifying Information Of Identity Theft Victims
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and Scott J. Israel, Sheriff, Broward County Sheriff’s Office, announce today the conviction of Camilla Gonzalez, 29, and Patricia Alcime, 29, both of Lauderhill, FL, after a two day jury trial, in connection with a tax refund scheme that used stolen social security and other personal identifying information to file false online tax returns that resulted in the issuance of numerous fraudulent tax refunds by the IRS.
Specifically, Gonzalez was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit false claims, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 286, two counts of theft of public money, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641, and two counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A. Defendant Alcime was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit false claims, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 286, three counts of theft of public money, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641, and three counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A. Sentencing has been scheduled for April 9, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. before U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas in Ft. Lauderdale.
At sentencing, Gonzalez and Alcime each face a maximum statutory sentence of up to ten years in prison on each of the theft of public money and conspiracy to commit false claim counts, and a mandatory consecutive two years in prison on the aggravated identity theft counts. The defendants will also forfeit $511,801.28 in U.S. currency that had been frozen by SunTrust Bank.
As alleged in the Indictment and in-court statements, and thereafter proven in court, between January 15, 2011 and continuing until on or about October 20, 2011, Camilla Gonzalez and Patricia Alcime conspired to defraud the United States by obtaining and aiding to obtain the payment or allowance of false, fictitious, and fraudulent claims. It was the object of the conspiracy that the defendants enrich themselves, by obtaining and utilizing stolen means of identification to file false and fraudulent federal income tax returns claiming tax refunds to which they were not entitled.
In the instant case, Camilla Gonzalez and Patricia Alcime obtained personal identifying information of numerous identity theft victims, including their names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers. The defendants utilized this information to electronically file false and fraudulent federal income tax returns without the knowledge or authorization of the identity theft victims, utilizing the Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) assigned to Luxury Tax Inc. and claiming refunds to which they were not entitled from the IRS. Defendants Camilla Gonzalez and Patricia Alcime thereafter directed the IRS that the fraudulently claimed refunds be direct deposited into Luxury Tax, Inc. bank accounts at JP Morgan Chase Bank and SunTrust Bank or onto pre-paid reloadable debit card accounts.
Once the bank accounts or pre-paid reloadable debit cards had been funded by the Department of the Treasury, Camilla Gonzalez and Patricia Alcime would thereafter withdraw the funds by making withdrawals at local automated teller machines, transfers to other accounts under their control or to merchants directly, or would utilize the debit cards associated with the Luxury Tax Inc. bank accounts to make everyday purchases, including point of sale transactions at various local businesses and merchants.
In total, Camilla Gonzalez filed 621 fraudulent 2010 tax returns on behalf of unsuspecting identity theft victims, claiming $1,738,639.00 in fraudulent refunds. The IRS subsequently paid out $1,858,386.00 in refunds directly to accounts under her control. Patricia Alcime filed at least 92 fraudulent 2010 tax returns on behalf of unsuspecting identity theft victims, claiming $222,652.00 in fraudulent refunds. The IRS subsequently paid out $203,831.00 in refunds directly to accounts under the control of both Camilla Gonzalez and Patricia Alcime.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI and BSO. This case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Anton.
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.