LEXINGTON, KY - A Lawrenceville, Ga., man, who previously admitted using the identities of other people to fraudulently collect federal income tax refunds, was sentenced today to 87 months in prison.
U.S. District Court Judge Danny C. Reeves sentenced 39 year-old James Changala Kaira for theft of public money, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Judge Reeves also ordered Kaira to pay $588,129.62 in restitution. Under federal law, Kaira will have to serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence and will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for three years following the completion of his sentence.
Kaira previously admitted that from January 2013 until March 2014, he filed false tax returns using the identities of other taxpayers without the taxpayers’ knowledge. In some circumstances, he obtained tax refund checks that were issued to those taxpayers by the United States Treasury. He then forged the taxpayers’ signatures on the checks and cashed them at a money services business located in Lexington.
Kaira also admitted that between February and March of 2014, he committed bank fraud by using the false tax returns to obtain refund anticipation loans from one of several financial institutions. Information presented at the sentencing hearing established that Kaira fraudulently claimed $668,046.45 in tax refunds; of this amount, $588,129.62 was paid by the United States Treasury.
Kaira pleaded guilty to the charges in August of 2014.
Kerry B. Harvey, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Craig Hutzell, Acting Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service, and Christopher A. Henry, Special Agent in Charge, IRS, jointly announced the sentence.