Maryland Man and Woman Indicted For Stolen Identity Refund Fraud
A federal grand jury has returned a superseding indictment, which was unsealed today, charging a Maryland man and woman with multiple federal crimes stemming from their involvement in stolen identity refund fraud (SIRF), announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.
Devell Lincoln and Stephanie Twyman were each charged with conspiracy to commit theft of public money, theft of public money, and aggravated identity theft.
According to the superseding indictment, Lincoln and Twyman and others conspired to file false federal income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the purpose of obtaining tax refunds to which they were not entitled. The superseding indictment alleges that the false tax returns were filed using names and Social Security numbers of unwitting taxpayers, but listed addresses that were controlled by a co-conspirator to which the IRS would mail the fraudulent refund checks.
The superseding indictment further charges that Twyman arranged for co-conspirators, including Lincoln, to cash the fraudulently obtained tax refund checks at a check cashing business in Clinton, Maryland. In total, the conspirators are alleged to have obtained from the IRS over $500,000 in fraudulent refunds.
If convicted, the defendants face a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison on the conspiracy count, 10 years in prison on each theft of public money count, plus an additional mandatory two years in prison on the aggravated identity theft counts. The defendants also face a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Hur thanked special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, who investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Packard and Tax Division Trial Attorney William Guappone, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.