FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
APRIL 9, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NORTH CAROLINA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FRAUDULENTLY OBTAINING OVER $725,000 IN STATE TAX REFUNDS FROM 12 STATES
Identity Fraud Scheme Used State Tax Returns
Baltimore, Maryland - Chika Milford Mokwunye, age 43, of Greensboro, North Carolina, pleaded guilty today to mail fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud state governments by filing false state income tax returns in 12 states, including Maryland, to obtain tax refunds, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to the statement of facts presented at today’s guilty plea, 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 Maryland and other states. Mokwunye listed false employment, income and deductions on the returns to give the appearance that the taxpayers had overpaid income taxes, thereby causing the state governments to issue refund checks. To receive the tax refunds Mokwunye rented private mailboxes as the mailing addresses for the taxpayers.
Mokwunye faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine for mail fraud. U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. has set sentencing for September 6, 2007 at 9:30 a.m.
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.