Law enforcement officers are supposed to protect us from criminal behavior, not commit it. In a rather unusual story, a Miami police officer was convicted last week of tax fraud and identity theft. In an even more bizarre twist, prosecutors say he worked with federal agents last year on an investigation targeting another Miami cop for charged with similar crimes.
According to court records, Malinsky Bazile, a Miami police officer, used a police department computer to ascertain the social security numbers of dozens of people. Press reports said he possessed confidential identity data on over 1000 people.
Prosecutors say that Bazile was stealing identities in order to claim phony tax refunds. In one instance, he was photographed by an ATM security camera cashing a preloaded debit card in the name of one of his victims.
After confessing to his involvement, Bazile later tried to claim that his confession was coerced because he wasn’t advised of his rights. (If anyone should understand their right to remain silent, it should be cops in big cities – we wonder how many times Bazile has advised others of their rights.) None that mattered as the court ruled that he was not in custody at the time of his confession.
Bazile was indicted in August of several counts of identity theft and using a police computer for illegal purposes.
Even after his confession was allowed to stand, Bazile still elected to go to trial. He was convicted last week by a federal court jury of all counts.
Tax fraud cases like this are rare. Although identity theft is common (and growing), Bazile is likely to face a very severe sentence. Judges frequently give a break to defendants who take “early acceptance of responsibility.” Bazile confessed immediately and would likely have been given some recognition for that. By forcing a trial, however, he likely loses all breaks for his cooperation.
Worse, if the press reports are correct, Bazile had helped investigate another cop accused of the same thing.
We suspect Officer Malinsky Bazile will soon be seeing the inside of a jail cell as Inmate Bazile.
Everyone makes mistakes. Having the identities of hundreds of innocent victims, however, suggests a lengthy premeditated course of conduct. This was not a one-time, impulse crime.
Sentencing is scheduled for December 16th.
If you are the victim if tax fraud – identity theft, contact the IRS immediately. Unfortunately with the current government shutdown, getting through to the IRS is impossible. Their identity theft website materials are up, however.
About Mahany & Ertl. We are a full service tax firm. We represent individuals and corporate officers charged with tax fraud including identity theft, tax evasion, filing false returns and failure to file tax returns. We understand that everyone makes mistakes – if falsely accused we can help you restore your good name. If guilty, we can often negotiate a favorable outcome and sentence.
For more information, contact one of our IRS attorneys at (414) 223-0464. All inquiries are protected by the attorney client privilege. The author can also be contacted directly at or at (414) 704-6731 (direct).
Post by Brian mahany, Esq.