Internet Installer Sentenced for Hijacking Customer’s Internet to Perpetrate Identity Theft Tax Scheme
Corey Thompson was sentenced today to serve 30 months in prison for his involvement in a sophisticated stolen identity refund fraud conspiracy, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. In July 2012, Thompson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to file false claims and to one count of aggravated identity theft.
According to court documents, in January 2012, Corey Thompson and his co-conspirators filed at least 27 fraudulent 2011 tax returns that requested a total of $91,304 in refunds. Thompson and his co-conspirators obtained the means of identification from a prison guard and from an employee at a debt collection agency.
Court documents also state that in 2011 and 2012, Thompson worked as an independent contractor for a cable company. As an independent contractor, Thompson installed cable and internet access. To perpetrate the conspiracy, Thompson hijacked the internet service of customers for whom he had performed work. From his home, Thompson used his laptop and his specialized knowledge and equipment to essentially shut down the customer’s internet and then take over that customer’s internet. Thompson would then file false tax returns using the hijacked internet which made it appear as if the false tax returns were being filed by the customer. Thompson directed the tax refunds to be placed on pre-paid debit cards. The pre-paid debit cards were intercepted by the U.S. Postal Service.
The case was investigated by Special Agents of the IRS - Criminal Investigation and Postal Inspectors of the U.S. Postal Service. Trial attorneys Jason H. Poole, Justin Gelfand and Michael Boteler of the Justice Department's Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Morris prosecuted the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found at www.justice.gov/tax.