Plano Man Sentenced to 46 Months in Federal Prison and Ordered to Pay $118,139 in Restitution on Conspiracy Conviction
DALLAS — A Plano, Texas, man was sentenced this morning by U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade to 46 months in federal prison, and ordered to pay $118,139 in restitution on a conspiracy conviction stemming from his role in a tax refund fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Cephas Msipa pleaded guilty to a one-count superseding information in August 2013 charging one count of conspiracy. He has been in federal custody since his arrest on an indictment in November 2012. In today’s hearing, Judge Kinkeade stated that Msipa will be deported back to Zimbabwe after he serves his prison sentence.
According to the factual resume filed in Msipa’s case, Msipa admitted that from January 5, 2012, until June 2012, he was involved in a conspiracy to obtain tax refunds that were generated through the submission of fraudulent tax returns. For his part in the conspiracy, Msipa opened bank accounts, using a false name, in order to receive the refunds from the fraudulently filed tax returns.
Msipa used a forged United Kingdom passport to establish a private mail box at a postal store on Preston Road in Dallas. Thereafter, according to the factual resume, Msipa used this false name, and the address of the mail box, to open three accounts at Bank of America and two accounts at Chase Bank.
The factual resume further states that during this time frame, co-conspirators electronically filed approximately 105 fraudulent tax returns using stolen identities and false income information that directed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to deposit a total of $118,139 in refunds into accounts Msipa opened.
In a related case, defendant Elijah Meskano, pleaded guilty to the same offense in May 2013. Meskano, according to the factual resume filed in his case, from December 22, 2011, through November 29, 2012, also opened bank accounts using a false name to receive refunds from fraudulently filed tax returns. According to a complaint filed in Meskano’s case, he and Msipa were roommates and lived in Plano, Texas. Meskano is scheduled to be sentenced on April 3, 2014.
The investigation was conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Stokes prosecuted.
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