Alabama Man Indicted in Alleged $19 Million Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Scheme
A federal grand jury sitting in Montgomery, Alabama returned an indictment, which was unsealed today, charging a Phenix City, Alabama resident with conspiring to file fraudulent refund claims, mail fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney A. Clark Morris for the Middle District of Alabama.
According to the indictment, between November 2010 and December 2013, Anthony Gosha aka Boo Boo, and his co-conspirators used stolen IDs to file over 7,000 tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seeking more than $19 million in fraudulent refunds. The indictment alleges that Gosha obtained IDs of inmates from the Alabama Department of Corrections and that his co-conspirators obtained IDs from multiple sources, including an Alabama state agency. The indictment charges that they used these IDs to file the fraudulent tax returns. Gosha and his co-conspirators also allegedly obtained several Electronic Filing Identification Numbers in the names of sham tax preparation businesses in order to file the fraudulent returns and apply for tax refund-related bank products from financial institutions.
The indictment alleges that Gosha and his co-conspirators directed the IRS to issue the refunds to prepaid debit cards, U.S. Treasury checks and financial institutions. The indictment further alleges that Gosha and his co-conspirators recruited U.S. Postal Service employees to provide addresses on their mail routes to which the fraudulently obtained refund checks could be sent. According to the indictment, Gosha and his co-conspirators cashed the refund checks at several businesses in Alabama and Georgia.
If convicted, Gosha faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the conspiracy count, a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count of wire and mail fraud and a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison for each count of aggravated identity theft. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, forfeiture and monetary penalties.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg and U.S. Attorney Morris commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Michael C. Boteler and Gregory P. Bailey of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Ross of the Middle District of Alabama, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.