Second Individual Convicted in False Claims Conspiracy
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 21, 2014|
ORLANDO—Acting United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Marcus Dwayne Robertson (age 45) was found guilty yesterday of conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. This is Robertson’s second conviction in this District. On August 23, 2011, he was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and charged with being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Robertson pleaded guilty to that crime on January 5, 2012. He was then indicted on March 14, 2012, for conspiring to defraud the IRS. A bench trial ensued in December 2013 in which he was convicted for that offense. Robertson faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for both convictions. His sentencing hearing has been scheduled for April 14, 2014, before Senior U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell.
According to court documents and evidence presented at Robertson’s trial and the sentencing of a co-conspirator (Jonathan Paul Jimenez), the FBI was investigating an international terrorism matter regarding the operation of a travel facilitation network by Robertson and others that sends individuals overseas to commit violent jihad. In November 2010, Jimenez relocated from New York to Central Florida, where he began training with Robertson in the skills necessary to participate in violent jihad overseas. The training included martial arts, firearm and knife training, reading the Quran, and learning Arabic. During Jimenez’s training, Robertson stressed that Jimenez needed to focus on the religious aspects of his training, prior to perfecting the skills needed to commit violent acts.
In late May and early June 2011, Jimenez, with the assistance of Robertson and others, began making preparations for his overseas travel. Robertson assisted Jimenez with getting his photographs for his visa application and his vaccinations. On June 17, 2011, Jimenez departed Central Florida and traveled to New York by airplane, where he expected to get his visa and then travel overseas.
During the course of the investigation, the FBI obtained evidence about the nature of Robertson’s training of Jimenez and the plan for Jimenez to travel overseas to engage in violent jihad. As part of the investigation, the FBI obtained consensually recorded conversations with Jimenez and others in which Jimenez stated his goals. When interviewed by the FBI on September 22, 2011, Jimenez lied about making those statements.
In order to have funds available for him when he was overseas, Robertson, Jimenez, and another individual conspired to submit a false 2010 tax return for Jimenez in which Jimenez falsely claimed three of Robertson’s children as his dependents and falsely represented that he lived with each of the three children for all the year 2010. As a result of those false representations, Jimenez obtained a refund from the IRS in the amount of $5,587.
On August 28, 2012, Jimenez pleaded guilty to making a false statement to a federal agency in a matter involving international terrorism and conspiring to defraud the IRS. On April 18, 2013, he was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, ordered to serve a three-year term of supervision following his release, and to pay $5,587 in restitution.
These cases were investigated by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. They are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg.