FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
TUESDAY, JUNE 3, 2014
TDD (202) 514-1888
FORMER ALABAMA CORRECTIONS OFFICERS SENTENCED FOR IDENTITY THEFT AND TAX FRAUD
WASHINGTON – Bryant Thompson was sentenced today to serve 120 months in prison and Quincy Walton was sentenced to serve 84 months in prison for their roles in a stolen identity refund fraud scheme, announced Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally of the Justice Department's Tax Division and U.S. Attorney George L. Beck Jr. for the Middle District of Alabama. Thompson and Walton, both former Alabama corrections officers, were convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States following a week-long jury trial in January 2014. Thompson was also convicted of seven counts of wire fraud and seven counts of aggravated identity theft, and Walton was also convicted of one count of aggravated identity theft. In addition to their prison sentences Thompson and Walton have been ordered to pay $176,114 in restitution.
According to evidence introduced at trial, Thompson was assigned to the shift clerk position at an Alabama state prison, which gave him access to the personal identifying information of every inmate in the custody of the Alabama Department of Corrections, past and present. Thompson and Walton, his former co-worker, used information stolen from the databases to file false federal income tax returns in the names and Social Security numbers of inmates.
According to the evidence introduced at trial, the investigation revealed that several internet protocol (IP) addresses were used to file the fraudulent tax returns, including one IP address directly assigned to Thompson's residence at the time certain tax returns were filed. Circumstantial evidence tied both Thompson and Walton to the other IP addresses.
Also according to the evidence introduced at trial, the two directed the stolen tax refunds onto prepaid debit cards and requested other refunds in the form of U.S. Treasury checks. Evidence showed that the cards and checks were mailed to several addresses associated with Thompson and Walton in Montgomery and Prattville, Alabama, and that several of the checks were cashed at a local retail store by Walton's uncle and by a local check casher. During this time, Thompson purchased a new paint job and new rims for his SUV and later purchased a BMW.
According to evidence from the sentencing, altogether Thompson and Walton filed over 180 false tax returns claiming over $750,000 in tax refunds. The IRS was able to identify many of the returns as fraudulent when filed and did not pay the refunds claimed, but was defrauded into issuing a total of $176,114 in improper refunds.
The case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Jason Poole and Alexander Effendi of the Tax Division, with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Alabama.
More information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts against stolen identity/refund crimes may be found at www.justice.gov/tax.