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Press Release

Brownstown Township Man Sentenced For Role In Scheme To File False Tax Returns Using Stolen Identities

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

A resident of Brownstown Township, Michigan, was sentenced today for his involvement in a scheme to file fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service, United States Attorney Barbara McQuade announced today.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Jarod Koopman, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

Receiving the sentence from U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain was Shane Bateman, 42.  Bateman pleaded guilty before Judge Drain in May 2014. Judge Drain sentenced Bateman to one year and one day in prison and two years of supervised release, and he ordered Bateman to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $185,828.

According to court records, from September 2011 through April 2012, Bateman obtained mailing addresses and personally identifiable information of numerous individuals and provided the information to others, who used the information to prepare and file false tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service.  The returns requested tax refunds, and the refunds were loaded onto Turbo Tax Visa debit cards.  Bateman and others used the cards at ATMs in the Detroit area to collect cash via ATM withdrawals.  Bateman’s cash withdrawals totaled $185,828.  The entire scheme involved approximately 180 false tax returns, many using stolen identities.  The returns requested a total of approximately $1.7 million in refunds.

“Stealing identities and filing false tax returns is a serious crime that hurts innocent taxpayers,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Jarod Koopman. “IRS-CI will continue to aggressively investigate refund fraud and identity theft.”

The case was investigated by special agents of the IRS Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Hiyama.

Updated March 19, 2015