Former Saline Resident Pleads Guilty to Identity Theft and Wire Fraud
A former Saline man pleaded guilty today to identity theft and wire fraud, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.
United States Attorney McQuade was joined in the announcement by Jarod J. Koopman, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.
Bradley Raymond Laboe, 54, a resident of Onsted, Michigan and previously of Saline, Michigan entered the guilty pleas before U.S. District Judge Victoria A. Roberts.
Laboe pleaded guilty to the charges in an Information that was filed earlier this month. According to the court document, Laboe stole personal information of approximately 77 elderly residents of Northern Ohio and used that stolen personal information to file fraudulent tax returns. Laboe used the personal information to electronically file 85 fraudulent tax returns with the IRS from his residence in Saline, Michigan. The fraudulent tax returns claimed earnings from forms W-2 and various Schedule A deductions and sought refunds of over a half million dollars. However, a majority of the victims were actually retired and receiving Social Security benefits. In furtherance of the scheme, Laboe opened several bank accounts and directed the fraudulent refunds to be electronically deposited into these accounts.
Laboe is scheduled to be sentenced on August 15 at 2:30 p.m. The maximum penalty for the wire fraud charge is 20 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000 and the maximum penalty for the identity theft violation is 15 years imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine.
“IRS Criminal Investigation has made investigating refund fraud and identity theft a top priority,” said Special Agent in Charge Jarod J. Koopman. “Filing fraudulent tax returns in the names of other individuals not only results in a severe harm to those victims whose identities were stolen, but creates a significant monetary loss to the U.S. Treasury.”
This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and Assistant United States Attorney Ross MacKenzie prosecuted the case.