CINCINNATI MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRING TO USE STOLEN IDENTITIES TO CLAIM MILLIONS IN FRAUDULENT INCOME TAX RETURNS
THURSDAY, JANUARY 10, 2013
Public Affairs Officer
CINCINNATI – Tawanda Marimbire, 23, of Cincinnati pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to conspiring with others to use stolen identities and obtain fraudulent income tax refunds.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Mark Porter, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service, and Darryl Williams, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office (IRS), announced the plea entered today before Chief U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott.
Mirambire pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. According to court documents, Mirambire and others began the conspiracy in 2007 and continued through approximately April 2012.
Members of the conspiracy stole identities and used them to file fraudulent income tax returns, receiving refunds on debit cards. Once the false income tax refunds were deposited on the prepaid debit cards, the cash was removed from the debit cards at ATM machines or by purchasing money orders. Mirambire and other coconspirators then committed additional federal offenses through their attempts to transfer, conceal, and divert the proceeds of this criminal activity. The cash was sometimes used by the conspirators to purchase expensive vehicles for transport to Zimbabwe. Mirambire and other conspirators also transferred the fraud proceeds to Zimbabwe in various ways, including direct wires.
The plea agreement says there were more than 250 victims and the amount of loss is between $2.5 million and $7 million.
Mirambire was one of seven indicted in September 2012. Charges against others are pending. Five of those charged remain fugitives. They are:
Kudzaiishe C. Marimbire, 34
Hlomera Mabhande, 30
Johanes Tagarisa, 37
Andrew T. Bere, 22
Julius Marimbire, 32
The remaining defendant is on bond.
Conspiracy to commit wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Judge Dlott will schedule a sentencing hearing.
Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Mangan is representing the United States in this case.