Article: How to Actually Prosecute the Financial Crimes of the Very Rich

Article - Media, Publications

How to Actually Prosecute the Financial Crimes of the Very Rich

PAUL E. PELLETIER, 19 May 2021

It was tax season 1999. I was a federal economic-crimes prosecutor in Miami, and this was the time of year my colleagues and I brought cases to deter would-be tax cheats. My target was a tax-return preparer operating out of Liberty City’s “Pork & Beans” projects, made famous in the movie Moonlight. This tax preparer had been manufacturing false W-2s and Social Security numbers so that her clients would receive an earned-income tax credit to which they weren’t entitled—amounting to more than $100,000 in bogus refunds. She eventually pleaded guilty and spent nearly three years in prison, which at the time I considered a broadly just result. She had committed a real crime against the United States. Continue reading “Article: How to Actually Prosecute the Financial Crimes of the Very Rich”

Article: Feds spotlight Miami as capital of COVID-19 fraud, from business to employee benefits

Article - Media, Publications

Feds spotlight Miami as capital of COVID-19 fraud, from business to employee benefits

JAY WEAVER,  26 March 2021

A year ago, Congress agreed to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on benefits for small businesses and employees devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Of course, the government’s handout helped the struggling economy. But it also opened the door for a menagerie of con artists to fleece the federal relief program to get rich quick.

Among them: a South Florida man alleged to have bought a Lamborghini for $318,000 with millions in COVID-19 relief loans; a Broward County tax preparer who purportedly pocketed huge commissions for filing $28 million worth of phony business loan applications; and a former NFL player from Miami accused of stealing people’s identities to collect $300,000 in unemployment insurance benefits. Continue reading “Article: Feds spotlight Miami as capital of COVID-19 fraud, from business to employee benefits”