Cobb County Man Sentenced in Identity Theft Scheme
ATLANTA – Bradford Thomas has been sentenced to ten years and one month in prison for using stolen identities of prisoners to file false federal income tax returns that claimed millions of dollars in fraudulent refunds.
“This defendant used the stolen identities of prisoners to steal millions of taxpayer dollars and enrich his own lifestyle,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “This case exemplifies our continuing efforts to combat identity-theft schemes designed to steal tax dollars, which have grown to disturbing levels.”
“We would like this sentence to serve as a strong message that there are consequences for stealing and using other individual’s personal identifying information,” stated IRS Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge, Veronica F. Hyman-Pillot. “Be assured that we will continue to be proactive in the investigation of individuals who engage in similar behavior.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: From January 2010 through May 2013, Thomas orchestrated a scheme to file over 1,200 false tax returns using the names and Social Security numbers of various victims, many of whom were incarcerated in jails or prisons throughout the country. These false tax returns claimed over $5.5 million in fraudulent tax refunds which were directed to be deposited into bank accounts controlled by Thomas or individuals working with him. The scheme caused an actual loss of over $1.6 million in taxpayer money.
In conjunction with the arrest of Thomas in August 2013, federal agents searched two locations from which the tax returns were electronically submitted to the IRS, including a business named “Immaculate Autos” at 2691 McCollum Parkway, Suite E, Kennesaw, Ga., and Bradford Thomas's primary residence in Acworth, Ga. At those locations, investigators uncovered $438,080 in cash, two handguns, jewelry, and various luxury automobiles, including a 2005 Rolls Royce Phantom, a 2008 Maserati Granturismo, a 2005 Bentley 2D, a 2006 Mercedes Benz, a 2003 Hummer H2, a 2007 Mercedes Benz S550, a 2004 Land Rover Range Rover, and a 2002 GMC Denali XL.
Thomas, 47, of Cobb County, Ga., was sentenced by United States District Judge Steve C. Jones to ten years and one month in federal prison and three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,663,035 in restitution to the IRS. The Court also ordered Thomas to forfeit his interest in the cash, weapons, jewelry, and luxury automobiles found at his business and residence. Thomas pleaded guilty on November 22, 2013, to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. If you believe you may be a victim of tax return-related identity theft, please contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490, extension 245 (Mon. - Fri., 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. local time).
Assistant United States Attorneys Thomas J. Krepp and Mary F. Kruger are prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.