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Press Release

Texas Man Sentenced to Prison for Wire Fraud Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Conspirators Used Stolen Identities to File False Tax Returns

A Texas man was sentenced today to 65 months in prison for wire fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft. 

According to court documents, Ryan Shern, 34, of Kyle, participated in a conspiracy to use stolen identity theft information to seek fraudulent tax refunds from the IRS in the names of unsuspecting taxpayers. From 2016 through 2019, to facilitate access to the payments, Shern allowed co-conspirators to direct such refunds to his and his wife’s personal bank accounts and to prepaid debit cards he purchased and controlled.

Shern used a portion of the tax refunds to purchase money orders and luxury goods for himself. On at least one occasion, Shern used a copy of a false tax return filed using stolen identifying information to persuade the bank that it should release to his account a fraudulent refund totaling more than $250,000. Shern also wired, or directed his wife to wire, funds to co-conspirator bank accounts.

In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ordered Shern to serve three years of supervised release and to pay $726,165 in restitution to the United States.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas made the announcement.

IRS Criminal Investigation investigated the case.

Trial Attorneys Mitchell T. Galloway, Robert A. Kemins and Mary Frances Richardson of the Tax Division prosecuted the case.

Updated February 24, 2023

Press Release Number: 23-220