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Press Release

California Resident Convicted of Supplying Fake IDs to Cash Stolen and Fraudulently Obtained U.S. Treasury Checks

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Conspiracy Used Information from California Death Records to Seek Tax Refunds

A federal jury sitting in Oakland, California convicted Janel McDonald today for her role in a conspiracy to cash stolen and fraudulently obtained U.S. Treasury checks, 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.


McDonald was charged, along with 10 codefendants in November 2015, with conspiracy to commit theft of public money, theft of public money and aggravated identity theft. According to the indictment and evidence presented at trial, from August 2013 through April 2015, McDonald’s co-conspirators stole deceased individuals’ personal identifying information from California death records and used it to file federal tax returns seeking refunds. They also obtained social security and refund checks that were stolen from the U.S. mail system. McDonald provided fake California IDs to her co-conspirators who used them to cash the stolen and fraudulently obtained U.S. Treasury checks.


Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 1. McDonald faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison for conspiracy to commit theft of public money, 10 years in prison for theft of public money and a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison for aggravated identity theft. She also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.


Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg and U.S. Attorney Stretch thanked special agents of the Internal Revenue Service–Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Newman and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jose Olivera and Trial Attorney Gregory Bernstein of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.


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

Updated April 25, 2017

Identity Theft
Press Release Number: 17-343