A Florida man was sentenced Friday to two years in prison for his participation in a nationwide scheme in which he attempted to steal nearly $9 million from people by impersonating an agent from the Internal Revenue Service, according to a press release from the Department of Justice on Monday.
After pleading guilty to one count of money laundering, Eugenio Labra, age 33, of Miami, Florida, was also sentenced to three years of supervised release to follow his incarceration and ordered to pay $28,671.32 in restitution.
According to the plea agreement, from August 2015 until November 2015, Labra and his co-conspirators perpetrated various fraud schemes, including one in which they purported to be IRS agents. Victims received calls from Labra and his accomplices during which they were threatened with legal action, arrest, and imprisonment over supposed debts owed to the IRS. Labra and his cohorts used the threats and other methods of intimidation to persuade victims to wire them money via MoneyGram and other transmitting services.
A news release posted by the Justice Department revealed that the Maryland State Police pulled over Labra on Nov. 17, 2015 as part of a routine traffic stop. During the stop, a K-9 officer alerted police to the presence of narcotics in Labra’s vehicle. Upon inspecting the vehicle, officers discovered two fake Florida driver’s licenses and two fake social security cards.
Investigators later determined that Labra used the false identities, as well as his own, to collect from MoneyGram over $550,000 of the proceeds from the fraudulent schemes. Labra then deposited the ill-gotten funds into bank accounts, allowing the money to be laundered.
In association with the fraud schemes, wire transfer collections were made in Maryland, Florida, Kansas, Illinois, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C.