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South Florida Sees Cases of ID Theft and Tax Fraud

organized-fraud_180x120South Floridians Accused of ID Theft and Tax Fraud

A Parkland man is among three South Floridians convicted in a $2.2 million identity theft tax refund fraud scheme, federal prosecutors said on Friday.

A federal jury convicted Frantz Pierre, 33, and two others, Terry Pierre, 29, and Christmanie Bissainthe, 33, both of Miami, on 12 counts including conspiracy to submit fraudulent claims to the government and aggravated identity theft.

Pierre and the others used identities stolen from prisoners to seek $2.2 million of illegal refunds from the IRS which ultimately paid $1.9 million fraudulent claims, government attorneys said.

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IRS Steps to Combat Identity Theft and Protect Taxpayers

The IRS is taking action to protect taxpayers from identity theft and helping victims of tax-related identity theft

Over the past several years, the IRS has taken numerous steps to combat identity theft and protect taxpayers. This is a top priority for the IRS. We have taken actions to be better prepared in both fraud prevention and victim assistance, and we are continuing our efforts in these areas.

On the prevention side, this means putting in place new processes for handling tax returns, new compliance filters to detect fraud, new initiatives to partner with stakeholders and a continued commitment to investigate the criminals who perpetrate these crimes.

For victim assistance, the IRS is working to speed up case resolution, provide more training for our employees who assist victims of identity theft, and step up outreach to and education of taxpayers so they can prevent and resolve tax-related identity theft issues quickly.

The IRS has designed various new identity theft screening filters that will improve our ability to spot false returns before they are processed. Once a tax return is flagged, we will correspond with the sender before further processing the tax return to make sure we have the right taxpayer. Under an expanded pilot initiative, a group of victims with previously confirmed cases of identity theft will go through a supplementary verification process, which will give us an additional tool to help prevent further identity theft and detect fraud.

The identity theft landscape is constantly changing, as identity thieves continue to create new ways of stealing personal information and using it for their gain. The IRS is firmly committed to working with taxpayers to take care of these problems as quickly as possible.

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Federal Fraud Offenses in Florida

What many fraud offenders in Florida tend to forget is that agencies like Medicare, Medicaid, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are part of the federal government. Therefore, fraud crimes like Medicare fraud, Medicaid fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, bankruptcy fraud, tax evasion, and tax fraud are federal offenses. An example of Medicare of Medicaid fraud is when a provider bills for unnecessary services, or for services that were not provided. Mail and wire fraud include attempts to defraud a person or entity of anything of value through the U.S. postal system or telecommunications. These offenses also cover fraud on eBay, Amazon, and other internet commerce sites.

Bankruptcy fraud can include the filing of false information, or filing for bankruptcy at the same time in multiple states. Tax evasion and tax fraud can be when a person avoids paying their taxes altogether, or instances of under-reporting income or claiming an exemption you don’t qualify for. The extent and severity of federal fraud cases depends on the value of the property or funds involved and the number of people involved. Conviction for a federal fraud offense can result in decades in federal prison, so working with an experienced federal charge defense attorney in West Palm Beach is highly recommended for any federal fraud case in the Palm Beach County area.

Federal Crime Defense Lawyer in Palm Beach County

If you have been arrested and charged on a federal offense in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Park, Lantana, North Palm Beach, Pahokee, Palm Beach, Palm Springs, Tequesta, or the surrounding areas in Palm Beach County, exercise your right to an attorney and contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A. immediately.

Andrew Stine is a skilled and qualified West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer with over a decade of experience, and knows what it takes to defend your rights and your future against a conviction from the federal government. Your first consultation is free, so call 561-832-1170 today and schedule yours.

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