Postal Employee Indicted in a Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Scheme
A federal grand jury sitting in Montgomery, Alabama returned an indictment, which was unsealed today, against a resident of Phenix City, Alabama for his role in a stolen identity refund fraud scheme, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin Sr. for the Middle District of Alabama.
According to the indictment, Demetrius Jones worked as a mail carrier for the United States Postal Service and his postal route was located in Phenix City, Alabama. In 2013, Jones is alleged to have joined in a scheme to file false tax returns using stolen identities in order to obtain fraudulent tax refunds. Jones’ co-conspirators allegedly obtained stolen personal identification information from several sources, including from an Alabama state database, and then prepared and filed false federal income tax returns. The indictment further alleges that the co-conspirators directed the tax refund checks be mailed to addresses located on Jones’s postal route and would then pay Jones a fee for him to deliver the checks.
If convicted, Jones faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the conspiracy count, 20 years in prison for each count of mail fraud, and a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison for aggravated identity theft. The defendant also faces substantial monetary penalties, supervised release, restitution, and forfeiture.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Franklin commended special agents of Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General who investigated the case and Trial Attorneys Michael C. Boteler and Gregory P. Bailey of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Ross of the Middle District of Alabama, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.