Crime

Five Miami men committed a $13 million tax fraud. Average prison sentence: 1.6 years

Five Miami-Dade men used their Doral tax business to defraud the IRS out of $13 million. After admitting it in federal court, they’ll spend eight years in federal prison — combined.

Jamal Dyer, 32; Jorge Osorio-Rodrigez, 35; Daniel Murias, 28; Jonathan Edwards, 33; and Tramaine Sealy, 34, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States. Dyer was the last to be sentenced, Jan. 31.

The five ran their scam out of The Tax Firm Miami, 8726 NW 26th St. in Doral.

The breakdown of punishments:

Dyer, two years and four months in prison, three years of supervised release and $5,637,690 restitution.

Osorio-Rodriguez, two years and four months in prison, three years of supervised release and $5,474,028 restitution.

Sealy, one year and two months in prison, three years of supervised release, $616,628 restitution.

Edwards, one year and one day in prison, three years supervised release, $654,501 restitution

▪Murias, one year and two months in prison, one year supervised release, $791,241 restitution.

That’s a total of 96 months or exactly eight years in prison, an average of 1.6 years per fraudster.

As described in each admission of facts, this was a simple scheme that boosted tax refunds or cut into owed taxes.

They used client tax returns from the 2014, 2015 and 2016 tax years to work their scheme from February 2015 through May 2017. Returns had fraudulent claims to the Residential Energy Credit, tax credit for money spent making certain energy-saving home renovations; and the Education Credit and the American Opportunity Credit, credit for some expenses of eligible college undergraduates.

For example, on one 2014 return, Dyer inserted that client “CLS” spent $9,499 on “qualified solar electric property” that entitled her to a Residential Energy Credit of $2,850. CLS had done no such thing nor did she tell Dyer that she had.

After the five fraudsters finished preparing the returns, they gave clients copies that listed The Tax Firm of Miami as a paid preparer. But the copies sent to the Internal Revenue Service didn’t include that information, so each looked as if the individual person had done his own return.

The quintet admitted sending a total of 5,345 returns to the IRS over those three tax years with false claims totaling $13,174,088.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.


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