Two Defendants Convicted in Stolen Identity Tax Refund Scheme Resulting in Millions of Dollars in Fraudulent Activity
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 05, 2014|
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Kathryn Keneally, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division; Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI); George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; and Paula Reid, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service (USSS), Miami Field Office, announce that defendants Herve Wilmore, Jr., 29, of Aventura, and Delvin Jean Baptiste, a/k/a “Doo Doo,” 29, of Miramar, were convicted today by a federal jury in Miami for their participation in a stolen identity tax refund scheme resulting in millions of dollars in fraudulent activity. Sentencing is scheduled for June 12, 2014, at 9:30 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola.
Specifically, each of the defendants was convicted of one count of conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), commit wire fraud, and commit aggravated identity theft, all in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371; two counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1343 and 2; and two counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1028A(a)(1) and 2. The defendants face a possible maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy count, 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud, and two years consecutive in prison for each count of aggravated identity theft.
Evidence at trial established that the defendants conspired to unjustly enrich themselves by recruiting knowing co-conspirators and unknowing victims to put businesses, bank accounts, and Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs) in their names, through which fraudulent transactions would be conducted. To accomplish this, the defendants used the personal identification information of individuals, many deceased, to prepare and file false and fraudulent income tax returns with the IRS. The defendants would obtain possession of fraudulently obtained refunds in the form of United States Treasury and Refund Anticipation Loan checks diverted to addresses or into bank accounts that they caused to be created and controlled. The defendants would then negotiate the fraudulently obtained federal income tax refunds within each other’s businesses, and elsewhere, to avoid being detected.
According to evidence at trial and court documents, Wilmore, Baptiste, and their co-conspirators caused the filing of approximately $35 million in fraudulent federal income tax return refunds of which the IRS paid out approximately $14 million. Defendant Wilmore was the president of Worldwide Income Tax Multiservices while Baptiste was the president of Royal Tax Multiservices, both tax preparation services located in Miami.
Co-defendants Marie Eleazard, a/k/a “Fanfan,” 32, of Miami; Henry Dorvil, a/k/a “D,” 35, of Hollywood; Brandon Johnson, 29, of Miami Gardens; Ronald Gustave, 36, of Miami, Ruth Cartwright, a/k/a “Princess,” 30, formerly of Plantation; Dukens Eleazard, a/k/a “DK,” 33, of Pembroke Pines; Luckner St Fleur, a/k/a “Nene,” 32, of Miami; Jesse Lamar Harrell, 26, of Miramar; and Corey Williams, 30, of Miami Gardens, each previously pled guilty to one count of conspiring to defraud the government, in violation of 18,U.S.C. § 371, and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1). Marie Eleazard is scheduled to be sentenced on April 9, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. Sentencing for Dorvil, Johnson, and Gustave is scheduled for April 18, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. Cartwright is scheduled to be sentenced on May 7, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. Dukens Eleazard, St Fleur, and Harrell are scheduled to be sentenced on May 9, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. Williams is scheduled to be sentenced on May 21, 2014, at 8:30 a.m.
Co-defendant Marc Leroy Saint Juste, 47, of Tamarac, previously pled guilty to one count of conspiring to defraud the government, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. He was sentenced to two months in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release.
Co-defendant John Similien, 24, of Plantation, pled guilty on the third day of the eight day trial to making a false statement, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(2), and was sentenced to time served.
The indictment was dismissed against Miguel Patterson, 35, of Miami.
U.S. Attorney Ferrer and Assistant Attorney General Keneally commended the investigative efforts of the IRS-CI, FBI, and USSS. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Karadbil and Tax Division Trial Attorney Greg Tortella.
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 http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls.