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Press Release

Royal Oak Man Pleads Guilty To Role InScheme To File False Tax Returns UsingStolen Identities

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

A resident of Royal Oak, Michigan, pleaded guilty today to 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 Carolyn Weber, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

Shane Bateman, 42, entered the guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain.

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 approximately $186,000.  The entire scheme involved approximately 180 false tax returns, some 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 IRS Criminal Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge Carolyn Weber. “Investigating refund fraud and identity theft remains a top priority for IRS.”

Bateman’s sentencing was set for October 2.  The crime to which he pleaded guilty carries a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years and a fine of $250,000.  In addition, Bateman will be required to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $185,828.

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

Updated March 19, 2015