Florida Man Sentenced In Stolen Identity Tax Refund Scheme Involving Thousands Of Individuals’ Personal Identifying Information

A follow-up to a case previously reported on this blog:

Paul Evans Auguste, 30, of Miami, was sentenced today to 61 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release for his participation in a stolen identity tax refund scheme.

Auguste previously pled guilty to one count of access device fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(b)(2), and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A.

According to court documents, beginning on approximately September 30, 2013, Auguste began advertising to friends and acquaintances that he had personal identifying information (PII) for sale, that is, stolen names, dates of birth, and social security numbers belonging to real individuals. On December 9, 2013, Auguste sold PII belonging to 200 different individuals to an undercover law enforcement officer for $2,000. The PII sold by the defendant consisted of patient information sheets from rehabilitation center in Philadelphia.

Court documents also state that on January 6, 2014, the defendant sold an additional 60 pieces of PII to an undercover law enforcement officer for $500. During that exchange, the defendant stated that he was opening a “tax” office and needed money; the defendant reiterated that he obtained the PII from Philadelphia and offered to sell another 200 pieces of PII for $1,000.

According to court documents, on January 28, 2014, law enforcement executed a search warrant of the defendant’s residence and discovered an additional 2,164 pieces of PII (702 of which were in his car, which the defendant was driving on his way to another controlled sale to law enforcement, and the remaining 1,462 of which were found in the defendant’s room).

SOURCE: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Florida

N.B.: I still don’t know where/how Auguste acquired the PII used for the scheme.  This incident may belong on this blog, but then again, it might belong on PHIprivacy.net. I just don’t know…


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