Two Miami Officers Accused Of Tax Refund Fraud
MIAMI(CBS4) – A new federal complaint obtained by CBS4 shows some disturbing details in the case against 27-year-old Miami Police Officer Malinsky Bazile.
According to a document filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami and obtained by CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, Bazile confessed to investigators that he made between $130,000 and $140,000 in the tax fraud scheme by stealing identities while working at his own police department.
CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald called this the first case of identity theft and tax fraud involving law enforcement in South Florida.
The federal complaint says Bazile had access to the personal information of at least 1,000 people and when he was arrested, investigators found a ledger with the personal information of hundreds of people.
The complaint says Bazile filed tax returns on eight occasions using the same last name of “Rogers.”
Bazille and 26-year-old Miami Police Officer Vital Frederick are accused of stealing identities from Miami Police databases, including drivers’ license records and using the information to file fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service.
Bazille and Frederick came before a Judge in federal magistrate’s court, where the total bond for Bazille was set at $300,000. Total bond for Frederick was set at $175,000.
A prosecutor said Bazile could face six and half years behind bars if convicted.
Corrections Officer Bernard Beliard is also charged in this case.
“I do see that the charges are aggravated identity theft and tax fraud,” said Sam Zangeneh, the attorney for Bazil.
After the hearing, he told D’Oench, “He’s going to plead not guilty and just like anyone else he is presumed innocent and we start with a clean slate.”
“This process is just now starting with the criminal justice system,” he said. “I assume the next step by the government is to take this case to the Grand Jury and secure an indictment.”
Both Bazile and Frederick are relieved of duty with pay pending the Investigation, according to Miami Police Department spokeswoman Kenia Reyes.
Reyes told D’Oench that both officers had been with the department more than four years.
The arrests were part of a joint investigation that targeted Miami Police Officers who are tied to a protection racket for a sports gambling ring that operated out of a barber shop in Liberty City.
Bazile and Frederick are among eleven Miami Police Officers relieved of duty in recent months.
The Miami Herald reports that in the past year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami has filed charges against 130 defendants who were accused of $140 million in tax refund fraud.
The newspaper said South Florida is the “ID theft capital of the nation.”