Alabama Man Indicted for Stolen Identity Refund Fraud
Montgomery, Alabama - Clarence Donya Hicks was arraigned today on a federal indictment charging him with using stolen identities to file false federal income tax returns, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. The indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury on January 20, 2012, was unsealed following Hicks’s arrest in California after which he was ordered detained by a federal court and transferred to Alabama. In Alabama, Hicks faces charges of filing false claims, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and lying to federal agents.
According to the indictment, from 2009 until 2010, Hicks filed false tax returns using stolen identities. In 2010, he lied to federal agents about working with another individual to file tax returns and allowing that person to file tax returns using the same tax filing number that Hicks was using.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, Hicks faces a potential maximum sentence of five years imprisonment for each false claims count, 20 years in prison for each wire fraud count, and a mandatory two-year sentence for each aggravated identity theft count. He also faces up to five years in prison for making false statements to federal agents and is subject to fines and mandatory restitution if convicted.
The case was investigated by Special Agents of the IRS - Criminal Investigation. Trial attorneys Jason H. Poole and Justin Gelfand of the Justice Department’s Tax Division are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found at www.justice.gov/tax.
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