FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC at 410-209-4885
September 21, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NORTH CAROLINA MAN INDICTED FOR OBTAINING OVER $725,000
IN FALSE STATE TAX REFUNDS FILED IN 12 STATES
Identity Fraud Scheme Used State Tax Returns
Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury has indicted Chika Milford Mokwunye, a/k/a Kelvin McIntyre, age 43, of Greensboro, North Carolina, in a scheme to defraud state governments by filing false state income tax returns in 12 states to obtain tax refunds, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. The indictment was returned on September 14, 2006 and unsealed today upon the arrest of Mokwunye in North Carolina.
The 24-count indictment charges Mokwunye with mail fraud, wire fraud, fraudulent use of an access device, identity theft and money laundering. According to the indictment, from around March 2004 to April 2006, Mokwunye assumed the identities of individuals after obtaining their personal information and filed false tax returns in their names in various states, including Maryland. Mokwunye listed false employment, income and deductions on the returns to make the appearance that the taxpayers had overpaid income taxes, thereby causing the state governments to issue refund checks. Mokwunye used privately rented mailboxes as a false mailing address for the taxpayers, to receive the tax refunds.
The indictment seeks forfeiture of $728,358, the amount of tax refunds obtained through this scheme.
Mokwunye faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on each count of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering and 15 years and a fine of $250,000 for fraudulent use of an access device. Mokwunye is scheduled for an initial appearance this afternoon at 2:30 p.m. in Greensboro, North Carolina.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the investigative work performed by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Martin J. Clarke, who is prosecuting the case.
This page last modifiedSeptember 21, 2006