Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Illinois Man Admits to Filing Fraudulent Tax Returns Using Stolen ID Information

Claimed More Than $845,000 in Tax Refunds

A Harvey, Illinois man pleaded guilty today to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft charges related to a scheme to obtain fraudulent tax refunds using stolen ID information, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Fardon of the Northern District of Illinois.


According to the plea agreement, from November 2014 through March 2015, Jonathan Herring, 34, working with at least two others, prepared and filed income tax returns using stolen names and social security numbers, and deposited the fraudulently obtained tax refunds into bank accounts that he controlled. In total, Herring filed approximately 225 fraudulent returns claiming approximately $845,979 in tax refunds.


Herring was charged in February 2016 with wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and access device fraud. According to the indictment, some of the victims of his scheme were members of the U.S. Air Force.


Sentencing is scheduled for July 25. Herring faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the wire fraud count and a mandatory sentence of two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft count, which will run consecutive to any other prison term he receives. Herring also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.


Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg thanked agents of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Tax Division Trial Attorneys Michael C. Boteler and Timothy M. Russo, who are prosecuting the case. Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg also thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois for their substantial assistance in 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 March 17, 2017