March 19, 2015

Miami Dade College Student Convicted for Her Involvement in a Stolen Identity Tax Refund Fraud Scheme Involving Her Student Financial Services Account

After a three-day trial, a federal jury convicted Laquisha Q. Johnson, 24, of Opa Locka, Florida, for her involvement in a stolen identity tax refund fraud scheme that utilized her student Higher One financial services account. Johnson was convicted of three counts of receiving stolen government property.

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.

As shown at trial, Johnson was a student at Miami Dade College. During her time as a student, Johnson opened a bank account serviced by Higher One, Inc., which provides financial services to colleges and universities throughout the United States, including Miami Dade College in Florida. After opening this account, tax refunds issued to three different victim-taxpayers were direct deposited into Johnson’s account. This included a tax refund of $61,000.00, that had been issued to a victim-taxpayer with the initials E.R.L. An aggregate amount of tax refunds in the amount of $63,000.00 was deposited into Johnson’s account.

At sentencing, which is currently set for May 27, 2015 at 1:30 p.m., before U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez, Johnson faces a maximum term of 10 years in prison.

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