IRS worker charged in an alleged tax refund scam

April 11, 2012

Philadelphia Daily News on April 11, 2012 released the following:

“By Michael Hinkelman

An Internal Revenue Service employee and her boyfriend were arrested this morning and charged in a tax refund scam that defrauded Uncle Sam.

In an indictment unsealed today, federal prosecutors charged IRS employee Patricia Fountain, 34, with conspiring to file false claims, filing 15 false tax returns, extortion and related offenses.

Codefendant Larry Ishmael, 39, was charged with conspiracy to file false claims and aiding in the filing of a false tax return.

Authorities said Fountain and Ishmael, of North Philadelphia, shared a residence, money and assets, including a 2007 Mercedes Benz R350.

Fountain’s job at the IRS was to assist taxpayers with Telephone Excise Tax Refunds or credits (TETRs), the indictment said.

The TETR was a one-time payment individuals, businesses, nonprofits and government entities could claim – typically $30 to $60 – for telephone excise taxes paid from Feb. 28, 2003 to Aug. 1, 2006. (The TETR credit could only be claimed on 2006 federal tax returns.)

Federal prosecutors said that between November 2006 and May 2009, Fountain solicited taxpayers to file false returns claiming the TETR.

The indictment said Fountain directed a person identified only as N.W. and Ishmael to interact with taxpayers on her behalf.

The charging document alleges 21 separate instances in which Fountain allegedly filed false tax returns claiming the TETR, including her own false tax return and Ishmael’s false tax return for the year 2006.

Authorities said Fountain charged taxpayers $400 to file the return and warned that she would “red flag” those who did not pay her fee.

The indictment said Fountain filed amended returns for certain taxpayers whom she believed had not paid the fee, thus reversing refunds that had been previously issued by the IRS.

Fountain also allegedly structured a $11,299 down payment on the financed 2007 Mercedes by paying part in cash and charging the rest to a Mastercard to avoid the reporting requirement by financial institutions for cash transactions in excess of $10,000. (Prosecutors are seeking forfeiture of the luxury automobile.)

Fountain and Ishmael were to appear before a federal magistrate this afternoon and will likely be released on bail, sources said.”

US v Fountain et al – Federal Criminal Indictment

18 U.S.C. § 286

18 U.S.C. § 287

18 U.S.C. § 1951

26 U.S.C. § 7206

31 U.S.C. § 5324

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


John F. Williams, an Elected Member of Warner Robins City Council, Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury

October 19, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on October 18, 2011 released the following:

“Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced that John F. Williams, an elected member of Warner Robins City Council, has been indicted by a federal grand jury and was today arrested for extortion under color of official right, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951(a); false statements to a federal agency, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 1001; and tampering with a witness, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1512(b)(3).

Count one of the indictment alleges that John F. Williams did knowingly and intentionally attempt to obstruct and affect, in any way and degree, commerce and the movement of articles and commodities in commerce by extortion; that is Williams unlawfully obtained property from another person in the form of $1,720.00 not otherwise due him and as a commission in relation to the sale of a vehicle to the Warner Robins Police Department. The maximum penalty for count one is 20 years’ imprisonment; a $250,000.00 fine; three years’ supervised release; and a $100 mandatory assessment fee.

Count two of the indictment alleges that John F. Williams did knowingly and willfully make a materially false statement to the Federal Bureau of Investigation concerning the sale of the vehicle to the Warner Robins Police Department, stating that he received no payment of money in relation to the sale of the vehicle, when in truth and fact Williams received a payment of $1,720.00 in relation to the sale. The maximum penalty for count two is five years’ imprisonment; a $250,000.00 fine; three years’ supervised release; and a $100 mandatory assessment fee.

Count three of the indictment alleges that John F. Williams attempted to corruptly persuade another person with intent to hinder, delay, and prevent the communication to a law enforcement officer regarding the sale of the vehicle. The maximum penalty for count three is 20 years’ imprisonment; a $250,000.00 fine; three years’ supervised release; and a $100 mandatory assessment fee.

“My office is committed to fighting criminal activity wherever it is found, whether that be on the city streets or in the city hall,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Moore.

Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Attorney Jose Martin “Joe” Valle Plead Guilty in Brownsville Federal Court to a One-count Criminal Information Charging Him with Aiding and Abetting Extortion by Former State Judge Abel Corral Limas

August 11, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas on August 10, 2011 released the following:

“Local Attorney Pleads Guilty to Helping former Judge Abel Limas Misuse and Abuse his Court For Personal Gain

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A local attorney has admitted to aiding and abetting former State District Court Judge Abel Limas’ unlawful use of his court for his and Limas’ benefit, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

Jose Martin “Joe” Valle, 54, of Harlingen, Texas, pleaded guilty this afternoon to a one-count criminal information charging him with aiding and abetting extortion by former state judge Abel Corral Limas, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1951 and 2 (The “Hobbs Act”). The criminal information was filed early this morning, Aug. 10, 2011, in Brownsville, Texas, and Valle pleaded guilty to the charge this afternoon before United States District Court Judge Andrew Hanen.

Valle, a licensed Texas attorney, has practiced law in South Texas for many years. While his focus has been largely on criminal cases, he also has been handling civil personal injury cases. Today, Valle admitted that he aided and abetted former judge Limas to use the office of judge of the 404th District Court to enrich Limas and to retain an ad litem appointment in a case pending in Limas’ court by referring a wrongful death, civil case to the law firm to which Limas had committed himself to work upon leaving the bench currying additional favor for Limas with the firm. Valle received an advance payment of $25,000 for the referral, $3,000 of which he shared with Limas.

Limas, who stands convicted and is pending sentencing, has previously admitted accepting money and other consideration from attorneys involved in civil cases pending in his court in return for favorable pre-trial rulings in various cases, including cases handled by the firm to which Limas committed himself to work upon leaving the bench.

Valle faces a maximum prison term of 20 years, a fine of up to $250,000 and a term of supervised release of up to three years at sentencing, which Judge Hanen has set for Nov. 14, 2011. Valle has been permitted to remain on bond pending that proceeding. The charges against Valle are the results of an investigation conducted by the FBI, DEA and the Brownsville Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Wynne and Oscar Ponce are prosecuting this and other cases filed as a result of this investigation including the case against former judge Limas.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Christian Pereira, Daniel Perez, and Sophie Perlmutter Charged by a Criminal Complaint with Conspiring to Affect Interstate Commerce by Robbery (18 U.S.C. § 1951(a)), Use of Interstate Commerce Facilities in the Commission of Murder-for-hire (18 U.S.C. § 1958), and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of Crimes of Violence (18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A))

July 25, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Florida on July 22, 2011 released the following:

“THREE MIAMI-DADE RESIDENTS CHARGED IN MURDER- FOR-HIRE SCHEME

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Hugo J. Barrera, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, James K. Loftus, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department, and Addy Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Miami Operations Center, announced the arrest of defendants Christian Pereira, 22, Daniel Perez, 20, and Sophie Perlmutter, 21, all of Miami-Dade. The defendants are charged in a criminal complaint with conspiring to rob and murder a Miami-based drug dealer. Specifically, the defendants are charged with one count of conspiring to affect interstate commerce by robbery (18 U.S.C. § 1951(a)), one count of use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire (18 U.S.C. § 1958), and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of crimes of violence (18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)).

The defendants made their initial appearance in federal court today. A pretrial detention hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 10:00 A.M. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory sentence of up to 20 years in prison on the interstate robbery count, up to 10 years in prison on the murder for hire count, and up to life in prison for the firearm count, which carries a five year mandatory minimum.

Today’s charges are the result of the ATF’s Street Terror Offender Program (STOP). STOP is a multi-agency task force specializing in the investigation of violent crime associated with the narcotics trade in South Florida. Using federal narcotics, robbery and firearms laws, STOP members target violent career offenders, with the goal of reducing violent crime in Miami-Dade.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, a confidential source (CS) alerted ATF/MDPD that he had been asked to assist in the robbery and murder of a marijuana dealer to whom defendant Pereira owed money. During a recorded meeting with the CS, Pereira and Perez discussed the robbery and murder plan in detail. The plan called for Pereira and Perez to meet the targeted victim at the victim’s residence under the pretext of paying their debt, confront the victim with a firearm, and then have the CS strangle the victim with a rope. Pereira and Perez promised the CS money in return for his strangling the intended victim.

According to the affidavit, on the morning of July 21, 2011, the day of the planned robbery and murder, police surveillance units watched as Pereira and his girlfriend Perlmutter picked up the CS and traveled to meet Perez, who was waiting at a Publix near the intended victim’s residence. Before Perez and Perlmutter reached their destination, they were pulled over by police. Police officers discovered a semi-automatic firearm, gloves, plastic tarp and cleaning agents inside the car. Agents then found Perez at the Publix where he was waiting, but Perez attempted to flee on foot. During the chase, Perez tried to discard his cellular telephone. Perez was arrested and his phone was recovered. When Perez’s car was searched, investigators discovered a backpack containing a piece of rope in the front passenger seat.

U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer noted, “Drug trafficking does not exist in a vacuum. Rather, drug trafficking breeds other crimes, including, as in this case, robbery, illegal gun use, and even conspiracy to murder. These defendants planned to rob and murder a drug dealer for their own profit. Instead, they now face long prison sentences. It is a good day for law enforcement when violent offenders and their guns are removed from our community before they have a chance to do harm.”

“The removal of violent criminals and their guns from the streets of South Florida is a top priority for ATF. Today’s charges are the result of our commitment to work jointly with state and local law enforcement to do everything possible to ensure that our citizens and visitors are kept safe from harm,” said Hugo J. Barrera, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Miami Office. “The message is clear: if you seek to do harm through violence in South Florida, you will be found and you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Director James K. Loftus of the Miami-Dade Police Department added, “The apprehension of these violent offenders is attributed to the strong working relationship amongst law enforcement agencies and their unified commitment to public safety.”

FDLE Special Agent in Charge Addy Villanueva stated, “The STOP Unit seeks out the “worst of the worst” offenders. This multi-agency Task Force saved a life and the perpetrators was brought to justice.”

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ATF, Miami-Dade Police Department and FDLE. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony LaCosta.

An Complaint is only an accusation, and defendant are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Kerby Aurelhomme Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in Miami for a Hobbs Act Robbery (18 USC 1951(a)), Possessing a Firearm During the Commission of a Federal Crime of Violence (18 USC 924(c)), and False Statements (18 USC 1001)

June 18, 2011

U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Florida on June 17, 2011 released the following press release:

“Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announced that Kerby Aurelhomme, 26, of North Miami Beach, was indicted in connection with an armored car robbery and shooting of Gustavo Sorzano, which occurred on July 12, 2006, in Boca Raton, Florida.

Aurelhome made his initial appearance in court on June 15, 2011 before Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Ann E. Vitunac. A pre-trial detention hearing is scheduled for June 24, 2011 at 10 A.M.

On May 31, 2011, Aurelhomme was charged in an indictment for a Hobbs Act robbery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1951(a); conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951(a); possessing a firearm during the commission of a federal crime of violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, 924(c); and making a false statement to the government, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, 1001.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI for their work on this case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandy Galler.

An indictment is only a charging document, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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