Earnest Baldwin, 36 of Miami, and Earl Baldwin, 42 of Miami were convicted on April 10 for their participation in a tax refund scheme using stolen identities. They had been charged in October 2012.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, the defendants were involved in an identity theft tax fraud scheme that operated from July 2011 through June 2012. During the course of their fraud scheme, approximately $1.7 million in fraudulent refund claims were submitted to the IRS for payment. Nearly all of these claims requested payment of the refunds onto pre-paid debit cards and some of these claims were filed from Earl Baldwin’s residence.
The trial testimony and evidence further showed that Earnest Baldwin was found with over 1,000 individual names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers and approximately 40 pre-paid debit cards in other people’s names. Some of these papers seized included high school report cards with identity information and data from an organization for disabled persons containing identity information. Neither the school nor the organization were named in the press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Two additional co-conspirators, Lineten Belizaire, 22, and Marckell Steward, 21, both of Miami, previously pled guilty in this matter. Belizaire pled guilty to access device fraud and aggravated identity theft on March 18, 2013. Steward pled guilty to conspiracy to commit access device fraud and aggravated identity theft on January 31, 2013.