U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Florida
(305) 961-9001
October 19, 2015

Former Miami Dade College Student Sentenced for His Involvement in a Stolen Identity Tax Refund Fraud Scheme Involving Financial Services Account

A former Miami Dade College (MDC) student was sentenced to 36 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $30,967 for his involvement in a stolen identity tax refund fraud scheme involving his student financial services account.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Miami Field Office, made the announcement.

Jonathan Joseph, of Miami-Dade County, previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A(a)(1).

According to court documents, Joseph was a student at Miami Dade College. During his time as a student, Joseph opened a bank account serviced by Higher One, Inc. (HOI), which provides financial services to colleges and universities throughout the United States, including Miami Dade College in Florida.

Joseph and other unknown co-conspirators submitted twenty-two (22) fraudulent tax returns to the U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury) claiming $104,260 in tax refunds and directed these refunds be deposited into Joseph’s HOI account. They also submitted sixteen (16) fraudulent tax returns to Treasury claiming $75,527 in tax refunds and directed these refunds be deposited into his unindicted co-conspirator’s HOI account.

Joseph’s HOI account received $11,320 in fraudulently obtained tax refunds from Treasury. From July to September 2012, Joseph’s HOI account also received over $15,000 in proceeds from stolen tax refunds from his unindicted co-conspirator’s HOI account.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI and the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gera R. Peoples.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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