Local Man Pleads Guilty To Multiple Tax Fraud Charges
Tampa, FL – Acting United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announced that on October 15, 2013, Anthony Simms (37, formerly of Riverview) pleaded guilty to seven counts of passing forged Treasury checks, seven counts of theft of government property, and seven counts of aggravated identity theft. Simms faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison for each of the passing forged Treasury checks and theft of government property counts, plus two consecutive years in prison on the aggravated identity theft counts. The government is also seeking a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of the proceeds from the offenses. His sentencing hearing has been set for January 13, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. before United States District Judge James D. Whittemore.
According to court documents, from November 9, 2011 through January 25, 2012, Simms deposited fifty-seven third party tax refund Treasury checks and eight tax refund cashier’s checks into his business account at SunTrust Bank, through various ATMs located in the Tampa area. Simms was the sole signatory on the business account and the only one who used the ATM card for these deposits. Simms knew that the signatures of the payees on the back of the checks were forged and that he was not authorized or entitled to deposit or cash these checks. The payees on the checks did not know or have any dealings with Simms, his business, and did not authorize a check in their name to be deposited into Simms’ account. Other payees on some of the Treasury checks were deceased. The total amount of money deposited into Simms’ account from all of these tax refund checks was $449,689.
This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Assistant United States Attorney Kelley C. Howard-Allen.