Local Musician Pleads Guilty to Stolen Identity Tax Refund Scheme
St. Louis, MO – OLUFUNSHO ADESHINA, a native of Nigeria residing in St. Louis, pled guilty to charges involving his participation in a stolen identity tax fraud scheme.
According to court documents, Adeshina received $753,063 from more than fifty refunds by filing false tax returns in the name of various individuals. The refunds were sent to various financial accounts: some were in Adeshina’s name, some were in the names of businesses he controlled and some were in the names of identity theft victims whose information Adeshina used to establish additional accounts. Adeshina admitted he sought more than $3.5 million dollars in refunds, but most of the false returns were caught and not honored by the IRS.
Adeshina pled guilty to one felony count of theft of government funds before United States District Judge Rodney W. Sippel. Sentencing has been set for February 26, 2016. Adeshina will remain in federal custody until his sentencing. Adeshina has been in federal custody since April, when he was arrested at Atlanta-Hartsfield Airport returning to the United States from Nigeria.
"Investigating refund fraud and identity theft is a top priority and we will vigorously pursue those who undermine the integrity of the U.S. tax system," said Tonya L. Martin, Acting Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation.
Theft of government funds carries a maximum penalty of ten 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. In addition to the criminal penalties he faces, Adeshina acknowledged this conviction may subject him to removal from the United States, as he is not a U.S. citizen.
This case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Tom Albus is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.