Alabama Residents Indicted for Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Conspiracy
Several residents of Montgomery, Ala., were indicted by a federal grand jury for their involvement in a conspiracy to receive fraudulent tax refunds into their bank accounts, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. Tarrish Tellis, Bobby Joe Means, Delancy Tolliver, Tracey Montgomery and Glenn Powell Jr. were indicted on various charges, including conspiracy and theft of government money. Tellis was also indicted on five counts of aggravated identity theft.
According to the indictment, Tellis obtained the means of identification of individuals, including their names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers for the purpose of filing false federal income tax returns. Means, Tolliver, Montgomery and Powell provided Tellis with bank account numbers that were to receive the false federal income tax refunds. Tellis would then use the bank account numbers and means of identification to cause to be prepared and filed false federal income tax returns with the IRS. After the false refunds were deposited, Means, Tolliver, Montgomery and Powell would withdraw the funds. The bank accounts received at least $500,000 in false 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, each of the defendants face a maximum potential sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy charge, up to ten years in prison on each theft of government funds charges. Tellis also faces a mandatory two-year sentence for the aggravated identity theft counts. The defendants will also be subject to fines and mandatory restitution if convicted.
This case was investigated by special agents of IRS - Criminal Investigation. Trial Attorneys Charles M. Edgar Jr., Michael Boteler, and Greg Bailey of the Justice Department's Tax Division are prosecuting the case, with the assistance from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Alabama and, in particular, Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Brown.