Rodney Saintfleur sentenced to more than 13 years in prison for inmate tax refund fraud scheme

Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) -- A South Florida man has been sentenced to more than 13 years in federal prison for a tax refund fraud scheme involving stolen identities of some 23,000 prison inmates.

U.S. District Judge Robert Scola imposed the maximum sentence Friday on 28-year-old Rodney Saintfleur. Saintfleur pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy to submit fraudulent claims to the government, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Court documents show Saintfleur used access to a database at his law office job to steal Social Security numbers, birthdates and other identifying information of the prison inmates.

He and others would then use the stolen IDs to file fraudulent tax returns.

Prosecutors estimate the fraud involved at least $11 million.

The Internal Revenue Service says South Florida is one of the nation's hotbeds for tax refund fraud.