United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Ocala Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION 
R. LAMMENS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the United States' motion
for default judgment against Defendants Joyce O. Isagba,
Joyce O. Isagba as the trustee of Eneziakpezi Trust, David O.
Isagba, and David O. Isagba as the trustee of Moeo Trust.
(Doc. 18). Specifically, the United States seeks: (1) a
judgment of over $700, 000.00 against the Eneziakpezi Trust
for unpaid federal income tax liabilities; and (2) an order
foreclosing on federal tax liens against the real property
and ordering the property be sold with the proceeds again
going first toward the unpaid tax liability. For the reasons
stated below, I submit that the motion should be granted and
judgment should be entered in favor of the United States and
against Defendants as requested.
The Federal Income Tax Liabilities
O. Isagaba, purporting to be the trustee of the Eneziakpezi
Trust, filed a 2008 Form 1041, U.S. Income Tax Return for
Estates and Trust, on behalf of the Eneziakpezi Trust. Compl.
¶ 9. On the Form 1041, Mrs. Isagba sought a refund of
$459, 023.00. Compl. ¶ 9. On August 20, 2009, the IRS
made a manual refund of $462, 557.62, consisting of the $459,
023.00 requested, plus $3, 534.62 of interest. Compl. ¶
10. The $459, 023.00 refund requested by Mrs. Isagba on the
Eneziakpezi Trust's 2008 Form 1041 was based on claimed
withholdings as reported on a Form 2439, Notice to
Shareholder of Undistributed Long-Term Capital Gains. Decl.
Bonnie Ragghinati ¶ 11, Exh. 3. The Form 2439 attached
to the return is fraudulent: the entity that purportedly
issued it - Citigroup-Group Investments - does not exist in
the IRS database, and the Form 2439 does not provide an
entity classification number. Decl. Bonnie Ragghinati ¶
11, Exh. 3. Nor does a Google search for the entity in quotes
yield any results. Decl. Bonnie Ragghinati ¶ 11.
Additionally, on or about January 22, 2010, after the IRS had
issued the refund check based on the first return, Mrs.
Isagba filed an additional return on behalf of the
Eneziakpezi Trust for the 2008 tax year. Decl. Bonnie
Ragghinati ¶ 12, Exh. 4. That return sought a refund of
$7, 234, 311 based on based on claimed withholdings as
reported on a Form 2439. Decl. Bonnie Ragghinati ¶ 12,
Exh. 4. The Form 2439 attached to the return is also
fraudulent: the entity that purportedly issued it -
Ghanuis-Group Investments - does not exist in the IRS
database and the Form 2439 does not provide an entity
classification number. Decl. Bonnie Ragghinati ¶ 12,
Exh. 4. Again, a Google search for the entity in quotes also
does not yield any results. Decl. Bonnie Ragghinati ¶
12, Exh. 4.
12, 2012, a delegate of the Secretary of the Treasury of the
United States properly made assessments for tax year 2008
against the Eneziakpezi Trust. Compl. ¶ 12. The delegate
assessed $459, 023.00 for the tax that was erroneously
refunded to the trust, and $56, 944.49 in interest. Compl.
¶ 12; Decl. Bonnie Ragghinati ¶ 6, Exh. 1.
delegate of the Secretary of the Treasury properly issued
notices of the unpaid tax and interest and made demands for
payment to the Eneziakpezi Trust. Compl. ¶ 13, Decl.
Bonnie Ragghinati ¶ 7. Despite these notices and demands
for payment, the Eneziakpezi Trust has not made any payments
towards these assessments. Compl. ¶ 13. As of July 13,
2017, the Eneziakpezi Trust is indebted to the United States
on account of those assessments in the amount of $722,
936.30, plus interest and all statutory additions thereafter
as provided by law. Decl. Bonnie Ragghinati ¶¶ 9,
10, Exh. 2.
The Subject Property
Isagba used the funds from the Eneziakpezi Trust's
erroneous refund to purchase real property located at 7712
Park Hill Avenue, Leesburg, Florida, 34748 (“Subject
Property”). On September 1, 2009, less than two weeks
after the IRS issued the refund check, Mrs. Isagba endorsed
and deposited the $462, 557.62 IRS refund check into SunTrust
Bank Account number ********0753, titled Irrevocable Trust
for Eneziakpezi Joyce O. Isagba, Trustee (“the
Eneziakpezi Trust bank account”). Compl. ¶ 11a.
Mrs. Isagba is the only person with signature authority for
this account. Compl. ¶ 11a.
next day, Mr. and Mrs. Isagba signed a purchase agreement
with Maronda Homes of Florida to purchase the Subject
Property. Compl. ¶ 11b. The Isagbas tendered a $1, 000
money order to Maronda Homes of Florida. Compl. ¶ 11b.
Approximately two weeks later, on September 14, 2009, Mr.
Isagba created the Moeo Trust. Compl. ¶ 11c. The next
day, he contacted Tonia Gibbs of Steel City Title, an
affiliate of Maronda Homes, instructing her to place the
title to the Subject Property in the name of the Moeo Trust.
Compl. ¶ 11c. The day after Mr. Isagba instructed Tonia
Gibbs to place the Subject Property's title in the Moeo
Trust, Mrs. Isagba withdrew $257, 500.00 from the Eneziakpezi
Trust bank account. Compl. ¶ 11d. She used the funds to
purchase a SunTrust Official Check (“SunTrust
check”) in the same amount. Compl. ¶ 11d. The
SunTrust check listed the purchaser as Mr. and Mrs. Isagba,
was made payable to Steel City Title Inc., and was noted
“for: Purchase Home.” Compl. ¶ 11d. The
closing on the Subject Property took place a week after the
withdrawal from the Eneziakpezi Trust bank account. Compl.
¶ 11e. The Isagbas remitted a check from a Bank of
America account in the amount $74.29 payable to Steel City
Title Inc. Compl. ¶ 11e. A Special Warranty Deed dated
September 23, 2009 was recorded in the Public Records of Lake
County on September 29, 2009. Compl. ¶ 11e. The deed
lists the Moeo Trust as the grantee of the property from
Maronda Homes of Florida. Compl. ¶ 11e.
Mrs. Isagba have lived in the Subject Property as a personal
residence along with their children and Mrs. Isagba's
mother since its purported transfer to the Moeo Trust. Compl.
¶ 18ii. Mrs. Isagba paid all of the real estate taxes
for the Subject Property for tax years 2009, 2011, and 2012
using the Eneziakpezi Trust bank account. Compl. ¶ 20c.
The 2009 check from the Eneziakpezi Trust bank account states
that it is from “JOYCE O ISAGBA ITF ENEZIAKPEZI.”
Compl. ¶ 20c. In 2013, Mrs. Isagba also made half of the
payments using the Eneziakpezi Trust's bank account.
Compl. ¶ 20c.
Federal Tax Liens
to 26 U.S.C. §§ 6321 and 6322, a lien for the
unpaid federal taxes described above arose on June 12, 2012,
the date of assessment, in favor of the United States. Compl.
¶ 15. The lien attached to all property and rights to
property belonging to and/or controlled by the Eneziakpezi
Trust, including the Subject Property, which is titled in the
name of the Moeo Trust. Compl. ¶ 15. On June 16, 2014, a
delegate of the Secretary of the Treasury recorded a notice
of federal tax lien in Lake County, Florida against the
Eneziakpezi Trust on account of its 2008 federal income tax
assessments. Compl. ¶ 16. On December 11, 2014, a
delegate of the Secretary of the Treasury recorded a nominee
notice of federal tax lien in Lake County, Florida against
the Moeo Trust, based on the Eneziakpezi Trust's 2008
federal income tax assessments. Compl. ¶ 17.
The Federal Action
March 6, 2017, the United States filed its three-count
complaint against Defendants. (Doc. 1). In Count I, the
United States sought to reduce the tax liability of the
Eneziakpezi Trust to judgment. In Count II, the United States
asserted a right to the Subject Property under the common law
of conversion. In Count III, the United States sought to
foreclose the federal tax lien on the Subject Property.
Despite being properly served, Defendants did not appear or
otherwise defend this action, and thus, the Clerk entered
default on July 10, 2017. (Doc. 15). Defendants then filed
the instant motion for final default judgment. (Doc. 18).