Alabama Man Indicted for Stolen Identity Refund Fraud
An Alabama man was indicted for stolen identity refund fraud, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Larry J. Wszalek for the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney George L. Beck Jr. for the Middle District of Alabama announced today following the unsealing of the indictment.
Jerome Marcel Newton was indicted on one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
According to the indictment, Newton obtained personal identifying information through various means, including by using other individuals to collect identities and by recruiting people to provide their identities. Newton is alleged to have used the identities he obtained to file fraudulent tax returns, directing the refunds claimed on the returns into bank accounts or onto prepaid debit cards.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, Newton faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the mail fraud count and a statutory mandatory sentence of two-years in prison for the aggravated identity theft count. The actual sentence imposed on Newton if convicted, however, will be decided by a federal judge after consulting the sentencing guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders. Newton is also subject to fines and mandatory restitution if convicted.
This case was investigated by special agents of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, with assistance from the Sheriff’s Office for Douglas County, Georgia. Trial Attorneys Jason Poole and Michael Boteler of the department’s Tax Division are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Brown and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts can be found on the division’s website.