Alabama Man Pleads Guilty to Stolen Identity Refund Fraud and Firearms Offenses
Deundra Milhouse, an Alabama resident, pleaded guilty today to several charges involving stolen identity refund fraud (SIRF) and firearms offenses, announced Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally of the Justice Department's Tax Division and U.S. Attorney George L. Beck Jr. for the Middle District of Alabama. Milhouse pleaded guilty to one count of access device fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was indicted in December 2013 and has been detained since his arrest in late January 2014.
According to the plea agreement, Milhouse was involved in SIRF crimes—the use of stolen identities to steal money from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by filing fraudulent tax returns claiming refunds in the victims’ names—from spring 2011 through late 2013. In 2011 and 2012, he received over $80,000 in fraudulently obtained tax refunds in a bank account he controlled. By 2013, he switched to using prepaid debit cards to receive the refunds.
Milhouse also admitted in his plea agreement that his car was stopped while he was driving on Oct. 8, 2013, in Elmore County, Ala. He managed to flee on foot and threw away a handgun that he had been carrying, which he was prohibited from owning as a convicted felon. Numerous prepaid debit cards and documents with personal identifying information were found in the car. Milhouse also admitted that a later search of his house uncovered more documents with personal identifying information of victims, as well as over 200 prepaid debit cards, a computer used to file tax returns and a magazine and ammunition for the discarded handgun. As part of his plea, Milhouse detailed that his conduct involved an attempted fraud loss of over $400,000 and more than 250 victims, and that he had at least one felony conviction for a crime of violence prior to owning the handgun.
At sentencing, Milhouse faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison on the access device fraud count and a maximum sentence of 10 years on the felon in possession of a firearm count, plus a mandatory two-year consecutive sentence for aggravated identity theft.
This case was investigated by special agents of the IRS - Criminal Investigation and by the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office. Trial Attorneys Jason Poole and Michael Boteler of the 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 may be found at the division website.