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Press Release

Man Sentenced To 64 Months In Prison For Tax Fraud Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Delaware

WILMINGTON, Del. - Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that Tendayi Mandere, a 36 year old citizen of Zimbabwe, was sentenced today by the Honorable Richard G. Andrews, United States District Judge for the District of Delaware, to 64 months imprisonment and full restitution.  The defendant pleaded guilty to violations of 18 USC § 286 (False Claims Conspiracy) and 18 USC § 1028A(a)(1) (Aggravated Identity Theft), in April 2014. 

The defendant participated in a tax fraud conspiracy involving the filing of more than 130 false individual federal income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service.  The defendant obtained the names and social security numbers of real individuals from his co-conspirators, and he used them to electronically file false tax returns via the Internet.  The defendant fabricated the wage and withholding information on the returns, which sought refunds of more than $600,000.  Most of these fraudulent returns were rejected by the Internal Revenue Service.  The defendant was ordered to pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $114,000, the amount obtained by the defendant and his co-conspirators during the course of the scheme. 

U.S. Attorney Oberly gave the following comments:  “This case should send a clear signal that individuals who conspire with others to file false claims against the United States Treasury will face significant penalties.  My office is committed to working with the Internal Revenue Service to prosecute these cases, and I will seek incarceration wherever possible and appropriate.”

This sentence exemplifies IRS Special Agents' intense focus on the rigorous pursuit of identity theft and refund fraud," said Richard Goss, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. "Mr. Mandere perpetuated an elaborate scheme driven by insatiable greed and a blatant disregard for the tremendous damage inflicted on innocent victims. Be assured that IRS Criminal Investigation, together with our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney's Office, will hold those who engage in similar behavior fully accountable."

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Lauren Paxton.

Updated July 14, 2015