Georgia Man Convicted of Tax Fraud and Identity Theft
ATLANTA – A federal jury found Mauricio Warner guilty of using the identities of thousands of unsuspecting individuals to file federal tax returns claiming over $5 million in bogus refunds.
“This verdict represents yet another conviction in a series of recent cases involving identity thieves who use the personal information of unsuspecting victims to file bogus tax returns and steal millions of dollars from the U.S. Treasury,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “We will continue to do all we can to stop these schemes and protect our citizens identities from theft.”
“Despite all of the notices from the IRS, financial institutions, and even criminal investigators, that his actions were criminal, Mr. Warner continued to steal from the government,” said Veronica Hyman-Pillot, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation. “Today, a jury of his peers gave Warner his final notice; ‘guilty’ of committing fraud. IRS-CI is proud to have been a part of bringing justice to Mr. Warner, and to those who are victims of identity theft.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: From approximately January 2011 to April 2012, Warner filed over 5,000 false tax returns using the names and Social Security numbers of unsuspecting victims. Victims were told they could submit an application for an “Obama stimulus payment” or “Free Government Money” by providing their names and Social Security numbers. In addition to word-of-mouth marketing, Warner used toll-free telephone numbers to collect victims’ personal identifying information. He then used the victims’ names and Social Security numbers to claim millions of dollars in fraudulent refunds. On the returns, Warner claimed false income amounts and student credits to generate the bogus tax refunds, and directed the IRS to pay the refund amounts to bank accounts he controlled. The victims did not know tax returns were being filed in their names.
The United States has seized seven bank accounts controlled by Warner that contain $4,185,455.31 in funds derived from or involved in this scheme.
Warner was convicted on 16 counts of wire fraud, 16 counts of aggravated identity theft, 16 counts of filing false claims, and two counts of money laundering. He was taken into custody after the verdict. The United States is also seeking the forfeiture of all funds derived from or involved in this scheme.
Sentencing for Warner, 38, of Smyrna, Ga., is scheduled for June 25 at 2:00 p.m. before United States District Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
This case is being investigated by Special Agents of 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 Stephen H. McClain and Thomas J. Krepp are prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Information Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.