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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 12, 2015

Two Defendants Convicted for their Involvement in a $100,000-Plus Tax Refund Fraud Scheme

After a ten-day trial, a federal jury convicted Marlan L. Copeland, of Miramar, and Brannoc K. Rudd, of Miami Gardens, for their involvement in a tax refund fraud scheme that resulted in the cashing of over $100,000.00 in tax refund checks.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and Paula Reid, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service (USSS), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.

As shown at trial, between January 2010 and April 2010, Copeland and Rudd brought over twenty checks into a Wachovia bank in Miami Gardens, Florida. Each check reflected a tax refund issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. At the bank, the defendants cashed the checks and left with the money, which totaled over $100,000.00. Although each check had been purportedly signed by the taxpayer, at trial the taxpayers identified the signatures at forgeries.

At sentencing, which is currently set for April 20, 2015, at 3:00 p.m., before U.S. District Judge Joan A. Lenard, Copeland faces a maximum term of 12 years in prison and Rudd faces a maximum term of five years in prison.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the IRS-CI and USSS. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Gonsoulin and John Byrne.

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 16, 2015