Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty to Identity Theft, Wire Fraud
A Port St. Lucie man pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, the U.S. Justice Department announced.
Ernst Pierre, a tax preparer, was charged with a scheme to file false federal income tax returns using stolen identity information.
Pierre, from October 2009 through May 2001, filed false tax returns for clients of Tax Max, a Port St. Lucie tax return preparation business he owned and operated, according to the indictment and his own adminission.
Investigators said, Pierre obtained the names and Social Security numbers of relatives of clients for whom he had prepared and submitted federal income tax returns and then fraudulently used those names and Social Security numbers as “dependents” on other client tax returns and on his own tax return.
Pierre faces up to 20 years in prison for the wire fraud and a mandatory two-year sentence for the aggravated identity theft count. He also faces up to $500,000 in fines.
Sentencing has been set for July 2, 2012.