Gregoire Garcon, a podiatrist and sneaker designer from Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, was arrested last week for allegedly attempting to steal government money. Garcon, 56, purportedly tried to cash over a dozen stolen tax refund checks valued at over $110,000 back in 2013. He is being held without bail.
According to court records, Garcon allegedly tried to cash the checks at the beginning of 2013. He reportedly gave the checks to an associate who agreed to have them cashed in Tampa in exchange for 45% of their monetary value. However, the associate’s Tampa contact turned out to be an undercover agent from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Garcon reportedly confessed to the alleged crime while being interviewed by IRS agents from the Criminal Investigations Division last year. He purportedly told the agents that he had lost a lot of money after his divorce and that he needed the stolen money to provide for his three children (aged 14, 15, and 19).
If found guilty for his alleged crimes, Garcon would have faced anywhere between 15 to 21 months in federal prison. Last November, while his former lawyer was negotiating a plea agreement for his charges, Garcon purportedly fled to Brazil. Court records state that Garcon didn’t even tell his family that he was leaving, which led one family member to file a missing persons report.
Garcon traveled in South America for five months, sources say. He reportedly returned to U.S. from Colombia in April with the intention of surrendering to federal authorities. He was arrested immediately after he landed in Fort Lauderdale and is currently being held while his case is pending to prevent him from leaving the country again.
U.S. Magistrate Barry Seltzer agreed with federal prosecutors involved in the case that there was a likelihood Garcon would try to flee the country again. He ordered Garcon to be held without bond, something that would have been unlikely had Garcon not left the U.S. five months ago.
Garcon was originally a citizen of Haiti but he became a U.S. citizen through naturalization. He studied medicine in the U.S and has been a practicing podiatrist for over two decades now with an office in Margate along State Road 7. Florida state records show that Garcon’s medical license expired in March this year and was given a ‘delinquent’ status while he was out of the country.