Missouri Man Indicted for $12 Million Tax Refund Fraud, Voter Fraud, Illegal Reentry and Felon in Possession of Firearm
Allegedly Stole Public School Employees’ IDs
A federal grand jury sitting in St. Louis, Missouri, returned a superseding indictment today charging a St. Louis resident for his role in a sophisticated stolen identity refund fraud scheme and other federal offenses, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Carrie A. Costantin for the Eastern District of Missouri.
The superseding indictment charges Kevin Kunlay Williams aka Kunlay Sodipo, a Nigerian citizen, with mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, voter fraud, illegal reentry and being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to the indictment, Williams and others stole public school employees’ IDs from a payroll company and used them to electronically file more than 2000 fraudulent federal income tax returns seeking more than $12 million in refunds. He also allegedly stole several Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs) that he used to secure bank products allowing him to print refund checks and direct the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to send refunds to prepaid debit cards. The indictment alleges that Williams had refund checks issued in the names of the stolen IDs, and blank check stock and debit cards sent to his residence.
The indictment further alleges that Williams previously entered the United States from Nigeria under the name Kunlay Sodipo, but was deported in 1995. According to the indictment, in 1999, Williams illegally returned to the United States from Nigeria using the last name Williams. In 2012, Williams allegedly registered to vote in federal, state and local elections by falsely claiming that he was a U.S. citizen and is alleged to have voted in the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections. On the day of his arrest in February, Williams is alleged to have been illegally in possession of a firearm.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted, Williams faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count of mail fraud, a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft, a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the illegal reentry, a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison for each of the voter fraud counts, and a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the felon in possession of a firearm. The defendant also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, forfeiture and monetary penalties.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg and Acting U.S. Attorney Costantin commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service as well as the Dothan Alabama Police Department and Alexander City Alabama Police Department, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Michael C. Boteler and Charles M. Edgar, Jr. of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting this case with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the Eastern District of Missouri and Middle District of Alabama.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.