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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 26, 2013

San Francisco Resident Charged with Aggravated Identity Theft and False Claims

SAN FRANCISCO, California – A federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted Eric Flentoil of San Francisco last week with identity theft, access device fraud, and filing false claims, United States Attorney Melinda Haag and IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Jose M. Martinez, announced.

According to the indictment, in 2012, Flentoil knowingly transferred, possessed, and used, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person in connection with using an unauthorized access device to obtain things of value, totaling $1,000 or more. The indictment further alleges that Flentoil made and presented to the IRS, two false federal income tax returns, claiming tax refunds which he knew he was not entitled to receive. One of the false tax returns was in the name of Eric Flentoil, the other in the name of an individual identified as A.R.

The maximum statutory penalty for each count of filing a false claim, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C § 287 is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The maximum penalty for access device fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(2), is 10 years (20 years, if the defendant has a prior conviction under Section 1029). The aggravated identity theft count, 18 U.S.C. § 1028A, requires a mandatory minimum term of 2 years imprisonment consecutive to any other sentence imposed. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. sentencing guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Cynthia Stier is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting this case. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

Please note, an indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Flentoil must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.