Skip to main content
Press Release

Jury Convicts Washington, D.C., Man in Stolen Identity Tax Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Defendant Used Dead Man’s Identity to Deposit Fraudulently Obtained Refunds

A federal jury in Greenbelt, Maryland, convicted a Washington, D.C., man Friday of conspiring to commit theft of public money, theft of public money and aggravated identity theft.

According to court documents and the evidence introduced at trial, from 2011 to 2013, Devell Lincoln, 55, conspired with Stephanie Twyman and others to cash tax refund checks fraudulently obtained by filing false federal income tax returns in the names of other individuals with the IRS. In total, the conspirators cashed more than $500,000 in fraudulent refunds at a check-cashing business, and Lincoln deposited more than $150,000 in fraudulent refunds using bank accounts under his control.

From 2011 to 2013, false federal income tax returns were filed with the IRS using the names and Social Security numbers of unwitting taxpayers and seeking fraudulent refunds. When the refunds were received, Lincoln and his co-conspirators cashed the checks at a check-cashing business. In addition, from 2010 to 2014, Lincoln deposited fraudulent refunds into bank accounts under his control. While two of these accounts were in Lincoln’s name, one bank account was held in the name of a third party, who was deceased, and one was in the name of a company registered under the deceased person’s name, with the deceased person as the signatory.

Twyman pleaded guilty to theft of government money and aggravated identity theft on July 3, 2019, for her role in the refund scheme. She is scheduled to be sentenced at a later date.

Lincoln is scheduled to be sentenced at a later date and faces a statutory minimum of two years in prison for aggravated identity theft, a maximum sentence of five years for conspiracy, and a maximum sentence of 10 years for theft of public money. Lincoln also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, forfeiture and monetary penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan Lenzner for the District of Maryland made the announcement.

IRS-Criminal Investigations and the Treasury Department’s Office of the Inspector General investigated the case.

Trial Attorney Abigail Burger Chingos of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica C. Collins of the District of Maryland are prosecuting the case.

Updated July 26, 2021

Press Release Number: 21-699