Former FSU student sentenced to 4 years prison for tax fraud scheme

tax fraud
Posted at 7:56 PM, Jan 24, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-25 16:00:47-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL)--Marvens Jean-Paul walked out of federal court Thursday in Tallahassee...but with a date to turn himself into prison officials on May 2.

Paul was sentenced to four years in prison after admitting to setting up a tax scheme that involved stealing the identities of more than 200 people to file false tax returns.

Investigators say Guerline St. Charles, and Kimile Fils-Aime assisted Jean-Paul with his scheme by processing, cashing, and depositing fraudulent checks.

St. Charles was sentenced to 5 years probation and 8 months of home detention with electronic monitoring. She is also to pay restitution of a total of $73,320.03, a minimum of $100 a month. Fils-Aime was sentenced to one-year in prison, placed on 3 years of supervised release, and owes restitution in the amount of $87,607. Each of the defendants all have to pay a special assessment fee of $100.

The indictment says each of the two who assisted Jean-Paul were tellers at a bank, and they were paid between $800-$1000 to cash refund checks for Jean-Paul.

Special agent Scott Schneider with the Internal Revenue Service says Paul managed to get away with $280,285.67 and was looking to get a whole lot more.

"We were able to stop more than 3 quarters of one million dollars from ever getting into their hands," said Schneider.

Many of Paul's victims included students at Florida A&M University. Schneider says Paul managed to get his victim's information through a stack of old scholarship applications he got from a friend at FAMU.

According to the indictment, there were more than 30 false claims filed in this case between the 2009-2011 tax return seasons.

Paul's lawyer, Saam Zangeneh says his client accepts full responsibility for his actions.

"He wants to put this part of his life behind them and move forward," said Zangeneh.

Special agent Schneider says there are many others out there trying to take advantage of people.

"We're going to be able to make more of a dent to this and hopefully be able to deter more people from trying these same types of crimes," said Schneider.

As for Jean Paul, his attorney says there's still hope for him after he serves his time.

"I believe when he gets back into society he will do everything he can to get his bachelors and take it from there," said Zangeneh"

Paul is to report to prison, where he requested to be located near South Florida by 2 p.m. on May 2, 2013. Judge Robert Hinkle allowed him to finish his semester at Miami Dade Community College before beginning his sentence. Fils-Aime starts her sentence on February 19, 2013.