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Two plead guilty in unrelated fraud cases

Rochester Business Journal
May 20, 2014

A Webster accountant and a Rochester tax preparer separately entered guilty pleas to unrelated fraud charges, U.S. Attorney William Hochul said Tuesday.

Accountant Joseph Karl Muller, 54, pled guilty to bank fraud and identity theft charges. Muller used a client’s personal information to write 46 checks, siphoning $127,287 from the client’s accounts.

Slated to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge David Larimer Sept. 10, Muller could draw up to 30 years in prison and be fined as much as $1 million.

Chauncee McFarland of Rochester faces up to 20 years in prison for filing false income tax returns and for running a scheme to cheat insurance companies.

In the tax cases, McFarland, 35, boosted clients’ earned income credit payoffs by crediting them with fictitious income from phony jobs. The scheme wangled $391,888 out of the Internal Revenue Service before McFarland was caught, government investigators said.

A licensed insurance broker, McFarland also arranged loans from so-called premium lenders to pay insurance premiums on fake policies for non-existent clients. He pocketed the $29,634 in the insurance scam.

McFarland is slated to appear before Larimer Sept. 9 for sentencing. A previously convicted accomplice in the tax scheme, Kenyatta Hubbard, also awaits sentencing.
(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail

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