News and Press Releases

Orange Park Man Charged With Tax-Related Fraud And Aggravated Identity Theft

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 15 , 2011

Jacksonville, Florida - United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces the unsealing of a thirty-eight-count indictment charging Bryan Adrain Copeland (32, Orange Park) with eleven counts of mail fraud, sixteen counts of wire fraud, two counts of false claims against the United States, and nine counts of aggravated identity theft.  If convicted, Copeland faces a maximum penalty of twenty years in federal prison for each mail fraud and wire fraud charge and two years in federal prison for each false claims charge.  He faces two years in federal prison for each aggravated identity theft charge, which are mandatory consecutive to any other terms of imprisonment.  The indictment also notifies Copeland that the United States intends to forfeit no less than $5 million, which are alleged to be traceable to proceeds of the offenses.

According to the indictment, Copeland used identifying information of other individuals, without their knowledge or permission, to file fraudulent federal income tax returns. Copeland allegedly accomplished the scheme and obtained proceeds through the U.S. Mail and interstate wire transmissions. The indictment further alleges that Copeland used bank accounts to deposit and receive funds generated by the scheme, and then used some of the funds to purchase automobiles which were offered for sale at a Jacksonville used car lot.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless,  and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the United States Secret Service. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kathleen O'Malley.

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