Final Defendant Pleads Guilty in Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud Scheme Involving Thousands of Patients’ Personal Identity Information
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 24, 2014|
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; and Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), announce that defendant Michael Ali Bryant, Sr., 41, of Lauderdale Lakes, pled guilty today for his participation in a stolen identity tax refund scheme. Sentencing is scheduled for April 11, 2014.
Specifically, Bryant pled guilty today to one count of possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(3), and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A. Co-defendants Tiffany Shenae Cooper, 33, of Deerfield Beach, and Marquis Onigirin Moye, 24, of Pompano Beach, previously pled guilty to the same two charges. Cooper is scheduled to be sentenced on February 28, 2014, and Moye is scheduled to be sentenced on March 28, 2014. At sentencing, each of the defendants faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for the possession of unauthorized access devices charge and a mandatory term of two years in prison, consecutive to any other term in prison, for the aggravated identity theft charge.
Michael Bryant’s wife and co-defendant Latina Rashawn Bryant, 43 Lauderdale Lakes, previously pled guilty to one count of using an unauthorized access device, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(2), and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A. Sentencing is scheduled for March 28, 2014.
Co-defendant Angela Dione Rosier, 41, of Coral Springs, previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(b)(2). Sentencing is scheduled for February 28, 2014.
According to documents filed in conjunction with today’s plea hearing, a confidential source (CS) initially approached Michael Bryant and inquired about purchasing narcotics. Bryant told the CS that he did not have any narcotics but that he did have personal identity information (PII) that he was willing to sell to the CS. The CS made a controlled purchase of 10 pages (each page containing approximately 20 to 25 names) of PII. Bryant instructed the CS on how to commit tax fraud using the PII and provided the CS with specific instructions on what information to enter into the web pages of the Internet-based tax services to obtain a tax refund. An examination of the PII revealed that it was from a medical services provider.
Co-defendant Rosier was an employee of the medical services provider. Co-defendant Cooper spoke to Rosier to obtain user names and passwords for current employees of the medical services provider. Cooper admitted to illegally logging on to the medical services provider’s computer network and downloading PII for the purpose of committing various types of fraud. She was assisted in her activities by Rosier and co-defendant Moye.
Subsequent investigation by the IRS identified 226 false claims linked to Michael Bryant. These false claims were for refunds totaling $775,879. Seventy-eight of the false claims were paid resulting in a loss to the IRS of $221,576.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia R. Wood.
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 www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls.