People gave a Florida woman $630,000 to solve their IRS debt problems. She did nothing.

·2 min read

Vero Beach resident Jocelyn Lynch possessed no expertise for dealing with the Internal Revenue Service and other folks’ outstanding tax debts. But, Lynch does have documented experience as a fraudster.

The product of these facts: Lynch convinced 12 sets of clients she could help settle their outstanding tax debt, and they sent $630,579.45 to her personal bank accounts so she could pay the IRS on their behalf. She kept the money and they kept their IRS debt problems, now bulked up by penalties and fines.

Lynch, 40, was sentenced to five years, three months by Fort Pierce Federal Judge Jose Martinez last week after pleading guilty to eight counts of wire fraud. She’s also assigned $867,593.11 in restitution — the money she took from her victims and the additional $237,013.66 in IRS penalties and fines they owed.

“Throughout the interview, she admitted that she ‘f----- up’ and ‘just wants to make it right,’” her admission of facts states.

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Turning their problem into her (fraudulent) profit

Lynch worked her scheme from January 2013 through January 2020. She told individuals and couples filing jointly she could help them settle their debts through one of the IRS’ payment plans.

According to the stipulated facts with her guilty plea, “After claiming she negotiated an agreement with the IRS, Lynch instructed client taxpayers to deposit payments into her personal bank account based on the false representation that she would forward the money to the IRS.

“On some occasions, she requested reimbursement for payments that she had not actually paid. Additionally, for some clients, she offered to pay the clients’ estimated tax payments and then used the money to pay her own personal expenses.”

There were 243 deposits into her personal bank accounts. In some cases, Lynch printed fake IRS documents stating payments had been accepted, a lien released or an Offer In Compromise about the debt had been accepted.

While most of her victims were in Florida, Lynch also managed to rip off people in Texas; Lafayette, Louisiana; and Aurora, Colorado. A check with the websites of Florida Bar and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation shows that Lynch is neither a tax lawyer nor a certified public accountant.

Lynch does, however, have experience with fraud, but semi-hidden in Indian River County court records under “Jocelyn Ramirez.”

As the federal prosecutor’s sentencing memorandum noted, Lynch was convicted of third-degree grand theft and criminal use of personal identification information in 2006 after using someone else’s credit card to pay $3,000 in personal expenses. She got 20 days in county jail and 18 months probation.

“She said that she took the money because ‘She was going through a lot in her life,’” the sentencing memorandum says. “Rather than using that experience as a wake-up call to find legitimate employment, she went forward with a scheme to live off other peoples’ suffering.”

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