By Ashley Cox

MIAMI, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)– A Vero Beach woman who stole money from clients she was supposed to be helping resolve federal tax debt was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Miami to 63 months’ imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $867,593.11 in restitution to her victims.

Between 2013 and 2020, Jocelyn Antonia Lynch, 40, held herself out as a person who could help clients settle outstanding tax debt owed to the Internal Revenue Service. After claiming she negotiated agreements with the IRS, she 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. Bank records showed that numerous deposits from the client taxpayers were used to pay her personal expenses, not the client taxpayers’ tax liabilities. To hide her fraudulent behavior, she lied to clients about having made payments and provided multiple clients with fraudulent payment receipts. A total of 16 victims were defrauded.

On April 28, 2021, Lynch pled guilty to eight counts of wire fraud. U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez imposed the sentence.