TWO SEPARATE AND UNRELATED INDICTMENTS
CHARGE SIMILAR SCHEME
Identities of children used in tax fraud
PHILADELPHIA – Agents with the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, this morning, arrested a total of five people charged in two separate and unrelated indictments that allege a similar scheme. Momolu Sirleaf is charged with stealing the identifying information of foster children to falsely use as dependents on income tax returns he was preparing for clients. In a separate indictment, six people, including a one-time social worker, are charged with stealing the identifying information of disabled children and foster children to falsely use as dependents on income tax returns.
The charges were announced in separate press releases issued today by United States Attorney Zane David Memeger and IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent-in-Charge Akeia Conner.
“The allegations in these indictments depict a disturbing practice of exploiting some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Memeger. “Unfortunately, it is not unusual for criminals to injure victims through identity fraud and cheat the government of its tax revenue through tax fraud. But the conduct in these cases, in which the fraud schemes involved stealing identity information from disabled children and children in foster care, is truly despicable, and those who are responsible must be brought to justice.”
“Investigating refund fraud and identity theft is a priority for IRS Criminal Investigation,” said Conner. “Stealing identities and filing false tax returns is a serious crime that hurts innocent taxpayers. Individuals who commit refund fraud and identity theft of this magnitude deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Today’s arrests should serve as a strong warning to those who are considering similar conduct.”
|UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
EASTERN DISTRICT, PENNSYLVANIA
615 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Contact: PATTY HARTMAN
Media Contact: 215-861-8525
An Indictment, Information or Criminal Complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
COPIES OF NEWS MEMOS AND RELATED DOCUMENTS CAN ALSO BE FOUND AT http://www.justice.gov/usao/pae