They stole the identities of dead people to steal $1.75 million from the government

Four tax preparers in North Miami’s H&A Tax Multi-Service got $1.75 million in tax refunds for a group of taxpayers in 2009 and 2010. The taxpayers would have been thrilled if they knew H&A had filed for them.

Then again, most of them are dead. All of them had their identity stolen.

Last week, one of the four fraudsters, 45-year-old Saul Frederick of Port-au-Prince was sentenced to five years and a month with $1.75 million restitution for conspiracy to file false claims and identity theft.

Already a guest of the government is Hugues Jean Noel, 40, now residing at a privately operated federal prison in Georgia until May 2023 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, aggravated identity theft, and failure to appear. His restitution is $1.79 million.

Jean Noel got tagged with failure to appear after skipping out on his bond in January 2013. Haitian authorities arrested him in December 2017 and January 2018 and lateraled him back to the United States and the U.S. Marshals. Frederick also left for Haiti, where he was arrested in July — but did so in 2012 before charged with his crimes.

Edy St. Jean might be in Haiti. He might be in South Florida. The Justice Department says he remains a fugitive.

Frandy Prophete, 40, was released in March 2016 after serving almost three years of a five-year sentence. Like Frederick and Jean Noel, he was hit with a restitution penalty, $1.85 million.

According to Frederick’s admission of facts, in early 2010, the foursome “obtained stolen personal identification information of other individuals, including names and Social Security numbers for the purpose of filing unauthorized tax returns in tax years 2009 and 2010. Many of these individuals died during tax years 2009 and 2010.”