You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 12, 2014

Darby Tax Preparer Charged With Using Foster Childrens' Identities In Tax Scheme

Momolu Sirleaf, 34, of Darby, PA, is charged by indictment, unsealed today, in a scheme to defraud the Internal Revenue Service by stealing the identities of foster children, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger and IRS Special Agent-in-Charge Akeia Conner.  Sirleaf is charged with six counts of aiding or assisting in the preparation of false federal income tax returns, six counts of wire fraud, and eight counts of aggravated identity theft.  The indictment alleges that, between January 2010 and February 2012, Sirleaf obtained the names and Social Security numbers of children within the foster care system to falsely use as dependents on his clients’ income tax returns. Sirleaf was arrested this morning.

Sirleaf owned and operated I.E.S. Tax Services, a tax preparation business located in Darby, PA, that prepared and electronically filed, via the Internet, income tax returns for clients.  According to the indictment, Sirleaf charged clients an extra fee for the use of each dependent’s identity, or withheld an additional fee from the client’s refund amount to pay for the false dependent.  It is further alleged that by adding the false dependents, the defendant generated false tax refunds for his clients, some in excess of $8,000.    

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 154 years in prison, plus a mandatory consecutive sentence of two years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $4.1 million fine, and a $2,000 special assessment.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, the City of Philadelphia Office of Inspector General, and the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General Office of Investigations.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Karen M. Klotz.

UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525

Updated December 15, 2014