Nevada Fraudster Sentenced to More Than Five Years in Prison for Role in Scheme to File False Tax Returns Using Stolen Identities
A Las Vegas resident was sentenced to 65 months in prison today for his role in a stolen identity tax fraud, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Josiah Ntekume engaged in a scheme to file false tax returns using stolen identities in order to obtain tax refunds. Coconspirators provided Ntekume with names, addresses, dates of birth, and social security numbers, and Ntekume used these stolen identities to establish prepaid debit card accounts. The coconspirators then caused refunds fraudulently obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to be deposited into those accounts.
When Ntekume was arrested on March 13, 2012, he had in his backpack approximately 250 prepaid debit cards in the names of other individuals, on which more than more than $200,000 in fraudulent refunds had been loaded. The backpack also contained stolen identities for nearly 200 other individuals that were used either to file false returns or to establish additional prepaid debit cards.
On Dec. 4, 2019, Ntekume pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, theft of government property, and fraud in connection with access devices.
In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan ordered Ntekume to serve three years of supervised release and to pay approximately $221,599 in restitution to the United States.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Trutanich thanked special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Tax Division Trial Attorneys Thomas W. Flynn, Stephen K. Moulton, and Arthur Ewenczyk, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.