Florida Couple Sentenced Involving Tax Scheme
St. Louis, MO – ALEXSANDR RABIKOV, a native of Belarus and permanent resident of the United States living in the Hallandale Beach, Florida area, was sentenced to 60 months for his part in a conspiracy to file false tax returns and thereby steal government funds. Rabikov’s sentence represents the statutory maximum allowed for the charged offense.
According to court documents, the conspiracy hacked into the computer system of a financial institution in the St. Louis area and obtained personal identifying information of individuals employed by that financial institution, including names, social security account information, addresses and wage information. This information was used to prepare false tax returns. Because the conspiracy possessed detailed wage information of the victims, the false tax returns closely resembled authentic tax returns because income and withholding information included in the false returns closely tracked the victims’ actual numbers.
All of the false tax returns had refunds due, which he collected and deposited into accounts that Rabikov controlled, either personally or through a network of other individuals throughout Florida, including his girlfriend and co-defendant Yulia Belomyttseva.
When agents from IRS-Criminal Investigation arrived at the couples’ beachfront apartment to arrest them, Rabikov and Belomyttseva unsuccessfully attempted to destroy evidence of their scheme by boiling and then freezing laptop computers before the investigating agents entered the apartment.
"Individuals who commit refund fraud and identity theft of this magnitude deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law," said Karl Stiften, Special Agent in Charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation. "We continue to do our part in protecting the sanctity and integrity of the tax system and those individuals whose identities were stolen."
YULIA BELOMYTTSEVA, a Russian national who was also living in Hallandale Beach at the time of the offense with Rabikov, who also pleaded guilty to being part of the conspiracy, was sentenced today to 12 months and 1 day in federal prison.
Both defendants pled guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to file fraudulent federal income tax returns last October. They appeared for sentencing today before United States District Judge Catherine D. Perry.
The case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Tom Albus handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.