News and Press Releases

Former Nurse Aide Sentenced For Conspiracy and Aggravated Identity Theft

January 10, 2014

NORFOLK, Va. – Emmanuel Effiong, 36, formerly of Virginia Beach, Virginia, was sentenced today to 81 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to defraud the government and aggravated identity theft.

Dana J. Boente, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and Trevor Nelson, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Arenda Wright Allen.

Effiong pleaded guilty on October 11, 2013.  According to court documents, Effiong and his codefendant Festus Ighalo, originally from Nigeria and now naturalized U.S. citizens, were formerly nurse aides at Sentara’s Virginia General Hospital in Virginia Beach.  They used their positions there to obtain Personally Identifiable Information (PII), such as dates of birth and social security numbers, from thousands of patients mostly located in the Tidewater area.  Then, with the help of others located elsewhere in the U.S. and Nigeria, that information was used to submit fraudulent federal tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service and receive tax refunds in the patients’ names.  Ighalo also pleaded guilty and will be sentenced on January 24, 2014.

This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).  Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth M. Yusi prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at or on


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