Man Pleads Guilty in Alabama for Involvement in Identity Theft Scheme
A man pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of conspiracy to file false claims and one count of aggravated identity theft for his involvement in a stolen identity tax refund fraud (SIRF) scheme, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Larry J. Wszalek for the Justice Department's Tax Division and U.S. Attorney George L. Beck Jr. for the Middle District of Alabama announced.
According to the court documents, between January 2011 and December 2013, Robert Walker and his co-conspirators filed false tax returns using stolen identities. One co-conspirator obtained stolen identities from various sources, including the identities of employees from a Columbus, Georgia, company. In order to file the false tax returns, Walker and his co-conspirators obtained several Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFIN) in the names of sham tax businesses. The co-conspirators applied for bank products from various financial institutions, which mailed blank check stock and prepaid debit cards. The anticipated tax refunds were directed to financial institutions, which in turn issued the refunds using checks or prepaid debit cards. Walker and his co-conspirators cashed the fraudulent checks at several businesses located in Alabama. Walker also deposited fraudulent refund checks into a bank account he controlled.
Walker’s sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 5, 2015.
The case was investigated by special agents of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General. Trial Attorneys Michael Boteler, Charles M. Edgar Jr. and Gregory Bailey of the Tax Division are prosecuting the case with the assistance from Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Brown for the Middle District of Alabama.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.