Maryland Man Indicted for Conspiracy to File False Claims, Wire Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft and False Personation
A federal grand jury sitting in Washington D.C. returned an indictment on Dec. 7, which was unsealed today, charging a Maryland resident with conspiracy to file false claims, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and false personation, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo, head of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
Anthony Ferguson of Temple Hills, Maryland, was arrested on the charges Dec. 8 and had his initial court appearance today before U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth, who ordered him held without bond. According to the indictment, from January 2012 through May 2016, Ferguson participated in a stolen identity refund fraud conspiracy. Ferguson and his co-conspirators obtained personal identifying information from several sources and used those identities to file fraudulent tax returns and obtain false refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The indictment also alleges that in 2016, Ferguson pretended to be a Treasury Department employee and sent text messages to a witness in an attempt to obtain the details of an ongoing criminal investigation into his conduct.
If convicted, Ferguson faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for conspiring to file false claims for refund, a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud, a mandatory sentence of two years in prison for each count of aggravated identity theft and a maximum sentence of three years in prison for false personation. In addition, Ferguson faces a term of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. It merely alleges that crimes have been committed. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo thanked agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Mark McDonald and Sean Green of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division’s enforcement efforts can be found on the division’s website.