Tax Refund Scams Plagued Miami-Dade In 2012

Categories: News
William_Joseph.JPG
William Joseph went from playing in the NFL to running an IRS refund check scam. 
With another tax season descending on us, you might want to secure your W-2 or 1099 a little tighter. Over the past 12 months, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami has uncovered more than a dozen rackets involved in stealing tax refund checks using stolen identities of social security applicants, elderly and disabled folks, Marines serving in Afghanistan, and even a corpse.

Each case makes you want to guard your personal information by scrubbing your entire existence from the Internet and equipping your bank debit cards with the super-sophisticated computer worm Stuxnet.

Banana Republican has compiled 10 of the most egregious acts of fake tax refund scams in south Florida as a public service announcement:

Semper Infidelis
Back on Feb. 9, federal agents busted down Dorothy Boulin's studio apartment in Miami where they found several lists with the names, dates of birth, and social security numbers for dozens of U.S. Marines serving in Afhganistan. A month earlier, Boulin used the information to file fraudulent tax returns to get refund checks. Turns out Boulin got the stolen data from the Marines' fellow unit member, 23-year-old Jobson Cenor. The same day of the raid, the feds spied on a conversation between Boulin and Cenor in which he discussed the two of them splitting the proceeds from the fake tax returns. He provided her with the information by typing it into an e-mail draft and then giving her the log-in information to the e-mail account.

Both of the thieves pled guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. She was sentenced to 70 months in prison, while he got 57 months.

Dirty laundryman
On Oct. 4, law enforcement officials raided Frantz Auguste's dry cleaning business in North Miami Beach where they found a locked room containing hand-written notes and lists with names, dates of birth, and social security numbers for more than 100 individuals; multiple tax refund checks in the names of different indivdiuals; and multiple tax returns in the names of different individuals. Many of the identified names were of people residing in an assisted living facility.

Auguste recently pled guilty to one count of access device fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

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