Prison inmate sentenced to five and a half years in prison for filing false tax refund claims and aggravated identity theft
Anchorage, Alaska - U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that an Anchorage man was sentenced today in federal court after being found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the government and aggravated identity theft.
Paulando Ramone Williams, 48, of Anchorage, Alaska, was sentenced today to five and half years in prison by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline. Williams received a sentence of 42 months for conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to false refund claims and mail fraud and a consecutive sentence of 24 months for aggravated identity theft to be followed by three years of supervised release. Williams had pled guilty in August 2013. In addition to his prison sentence, a money judgment of $108,003 was entered against Williams. The Court also forfeited $23,160 seized from U.S. Bank in April 2011 and ordered Williams to pay restitution in the amount of $108,003.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Yvonne Lamoureux, who prosecuted the case, noted that according to filings with the court, Williams participated in a conspiracy to obtain tax refunds by filing fraudulent income tax returns. Between April 2010 and January 2012, Williams and co-conspirators prepared and submitted to the IRS approximately 67 false tax returns claiming refunds of over $150,000.
Court documents also revealed that Williams and co-defendant Steve McComb, both prison inmates, obtained the names and social security numbers of individuals, many of whom were also inmates at correctional facilities to use in their scheme. Williams and McComb then provided that information to other co-conspirators to prepare and file false individual income tax returns. McComb authorized the co-conspirators to retain a portion of the money from the refunds, and directed them to wire or mail the remainder of the refunds to other co-conspirators or to hold the money for McComb. Recorded jail calls between the co-conspirators about the scheme included statements by McComb to another co-conspirator to make sure that Williams got his cut or portion of the proceeds.
Williams and co-conspirators Steve McComb, Helen Delores Maloney, and Michael Lee Sexton were indicted by a federal grand jury in February 2013 for conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to false claims, mail fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Their current status is as follows:
- McComb pled guilty to conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims, mail fraud, and aggravated identity theft in June 2013 and was sentenced to 9 years in prison on August 22, 2013;
- Maloney pled guilty to conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims and mail fraud in April 2013 and was sentenced to 28 months in prison on July 2, 2013; and
- Sexton has pled not guilty to the charges and is awaiting trial scheduled for December 9, 2013.
Ms. Loeffler commends the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division for conducting the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Williams.