FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A 30-year old Ft. Lauderdale man found guilty of a identity theft tax refund scam will be sentenced this June.
On Monday, a federal jury in Miami convicted Lee Dale on six counts of making and presenting false income tax returns for refunds to the IRS, two counts of depositing fraudulently obtain tax refund checks and two counts of aggravated identity theft.
Prosecutors said Dale filed nearly 300 handwritten tax returns, claiming more than $2 million in refunds, between 2006 and 2009. He used stolen identities and had the checks sent to P.O. Box address.
Although the IRS was able to prevent refund checks from being issued on most of these claims, approximately $195,000 in refund checks were mailed to Dale’s P.O. Box. Several of these checks were deposited directly into bank accounts bearing both Dale’s name and the identity theft victim’s name. Other checks were cashed at a check cashing store in Oakland Park in exchange for cash and money orders that he then deposited into his own accounts.
Dale faces a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison on each count of theft of government funds, up to 5 years in prison on each count of making and presenting a false claim to the government, and two years consecutive to the other sentences on the aggravated identity theft charges.