Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

California Man Sentenced to Prison for Stealing IDs and U.S. Treasury Checks

Conspired to Cash More than $500,000 in Tax Refund and Social Security Checks

An El Cerrito, California, man was sentenced to serve 54 months in prison today for aggravated identity theft and conspiring to steal government funds, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Brian J. Stretch for the Northern District of California.

According to documents filed with the court, from about August 2013 through April 2015, Brandon Robinson, 35, and his co-conspirators, stole names of deceased individuals and used them to file federal tax returns seeking refunds. Robinson paid cashiers at stores in the Richmond-area to cash the fraudulently obtained refund checks. Robinson also cashed stolen tax refund and social security benefit checks that were intended for other individuals. Robinson admitted that he and his co-conspirators attempted to cash more than $500,000 in fraudulently obtained and stolen checks.

In addition to the term of prison imposed, Robinson was also ordered to serve 36 months of supervised release and to pay $30,119 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.  Robinson previously pled guilty in February to aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit theft of public money.  

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg and U.S. Attorney Stretch commended special agents of IRS–Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas Newman and Jose A. Olivera, and Trial Attorney Gregory Bernstein of the Justice Department Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.

Identity Theft
Press Release Number: 
Updated May 30, 2017