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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Louisiana Resident Sentenced for Role in Stolen Identity Tax Fraud Scheme

A resident of Hammond, Louisiana, was sentenced today to serve 33 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release for his role in a triple-object conspiracy to defraud the United States, to commit theft of public money, and mail fraud, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite of the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Cedrick Mitchell, aka Skeet, 40, pleaded guilty on June 17 to one count of a triple-object conspiracy to defraud the United States, to commit theft of public money, and mail fraud.  U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey of the Eastern District of Louisiana imposed today’s sentence and set a later date to determine Mitchell’s the restitution amount that Mitchell will have to pay to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

According to court documents, Mitchell and his co-defendants conspired to file false federal income tax returns using stolen identities.  The conspirators used stolen names and social security numbers to prepare false tax returns that claimed tax refunds.  The refund checks were mailed to addresses in Louisiana, including to post office boxes that were opened and controlled by the conspirators.  The conspirators then falsely endorsed and cashed the checks.  Mitchell also deposited refund checks from the U.S. Treasury into a bank account under his control.

The indictment also charged Corey Lewis, aka Coco, 37; Angela Chaney, 43; Craig Lewis, 40; Brad Lewis, aka Bird, 32; Thaddeus Richardson, 49; and Martin Jackson Sr., 48, with conspiracy.  In addition, Corey Lewis, Chaney, Richardson and Jackson Sr. were charged with various counts of theft of public money.  Chaney was also charged with six counts of mail fraud and five counts of aggravated identity theft.  Corey Lewis was additionally charged with three counts of aggravated identity theft.  All of the defendants in this case have pleaded guilty to various charges and are awaiting sentencing.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo and U.S. Attorney Polite commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, who investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Hayden Brockett and Dall Kammer and Trial Attorney Lauren Castaldi of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.

Identity Theft
Press Release Number: 
Updated November 10, 2016