President And Vice-President Of Luxury Tax, Inc. Sentenced For 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 Sheriff’s Office (BSO), announce today that co-defendants Camilla Gonzalez, 29, and Patricia Alcime, 29, both of Lauderhill, were sentenced today before U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas, in connection with their previous convictions relating to 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 hundreds of fraudulent tax refunds by the IRS totaling in excess of $1.5 million.
At today’s hearing, Judge Dimitrouleas sentenced Camilla Gonzalez to 102 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and sentenced Patricia Alcime to 94 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. Additionally, they were each ordered to pay $1.8 million in restitution to the IRS and were ordered to forfeit $511,801.28 in fraudulently obtained U.S. currency that had been frozen by SunTrust Bank and seized by the IRS.
Previously, on January 29, 2014, 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. Co-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.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, as well as from court documents, between January 15, 2011 and continuing until on or about October 20, 2011, Gonzalez and 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 unjustly enrich themselves, by obtaining and utilizing stolen means of identification to file false and fraudulent federal income tax returns with the IRS 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 their individually assigned Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTIN), claiming refunds to which they were not entitled from the IRS. 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, Gonzalez and 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 the 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.