U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Florida
(305) 961-9001
May 29, 2015

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

A Miami Dade College student was sentenced to 21 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay restitution of $63,000, for her involvement in a stolen identity tax refund fraud scheme involving her 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.

A federal jury previously 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.

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 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 was deposited into Johnson’s account.

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.

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. 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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