Alabama Man Indicted for Multi-Million Dollar Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Scheme Using Prisoner Identities
A federal grand jury in Montgomery, Ala., returned an indictment charging Harvey James for using stolen identities to file false tax returns, the Justice Department the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. The 34-count indictment charges James with mail fraud and aggravated identity theft.
According to the indictment, Harvey James obtained stolen identities from individuals who had access to inmate information from the Alabama Department of Corrections. James and others used those inmate names to file false federal and state tax refunds. James directed some of the false refunds to be sent to either prepaid debit cards or issued via check. He directed some of the prepaid debit cards and state tax refund checks to be mailed to various addresses on a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier’s route which was located in Montgomery, Ala. Between 2010 and 2012, James and others are alleged to have filed over 2,000 federal and state income tax returns that claimed over $2.5 million in fraudulent tax refunds.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, James faces 20 years imprisonment for each mail fraud count and a mandatory 2-year sentence for the aggravated identity theft counts. He is also subject to fines, mandatory restitution, and forfeiture if convicted.
The case was investigated by Special Agents of the IRS - Criminal Investigation. Trial Attorneys Jason H. Poole and Michael Boteler of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Brown are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found at www.justice.gov/tax.