Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charge Involving Tax Scheme
St. Louis, MO – ALEXSANDR RABIKOV, a native of Belarus and permanent resident of the United States living in the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida area, pled guilty to charges involving a conspiracy to file false tax returns, which called for refunds, in the name of individuals, which he collected and deposited into accounts he controlled.
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. 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. Belomyttseva, a Russian national, also pleaded guilty to being part of the conspiracy.
"These defendants thought they figured out a clever scheme to thwart the IRS and steal from American taxpayers," said Andrew M. Thornton, Acting Special Agent in Charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation. "The IRS has made investigating refund fraud and identity theft a top priority and we will vigorously pursue those who undermine the integrity of the U.S. tax system."
Rabikov pled guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to file fraudulent federal income tax returns before United States District Judge Catherine D. Perry. Sentencing for both Rabikov and Belomyttseva has been set for January 26, 2016. Rabikov and Belomyttseva remain in federal custody, where they have been since their arrest earlier this year.
Rabikov now faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
The case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Tom Albus is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.