A South Florida Resident Sentenced to More Than 5 Years in Prison for Stolen Identity Fraud Schemes and Filing False Tax Returns
A South Florida resident was sentenced to 70 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $507,495.28 for his participation in stolen identity tax fraud, a social security fraud scheme, and filing false tax returns.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and Margaret Moore-Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG), made the announcement.
Stanley Joseph Laratte previously pled guilty to one count of receiving stolen government funds, one count of aggravated identity theft, and one count of filing a false income tax return, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 641 and 1028A(a)(1) and Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(1).
According to court documents, between June 2011 and August 2015, Laratte filed approximately 600 fraudulent income tax returns with the IRS claiming approximately $1.25 million in refunds that were to be deposited into various bank accounts owned and/or controlled by the defendant. Many of the returns were filed in the names of deceased individuals or in the names of individuals who had their identities otherwise compromised. Ultimately, the IRS denied most of the claimed refunds and only deposited approximately $200,000 into Laratte’s accounts.
Between September 2015 and July 2017, the defendant accessed various Social Security Administration (SSA) accounts for at least two dozen SSA beneficiaries by using their personal identifiers without their knowledge or authorization. Laratte diverted approximately $302,000 of the beneficiaries' monthly retirement benefits onto Green Dot debit cards possessed and used by the defendant.
In June 2015 and August 2016, Laratte created and filed fraudulent personal income tax returns in his own name for the tax years 2014 and 20l5. He created and submitted phony Form W -2s to the IRS in support of these returns. When offset by various credits and deductions, these fraudulent returns generated approximately $16,000 in refunds, which were deposited into the defendant's bank account.
Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI and SSA-OIG. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jon Milton Juenger.