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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Pennsylvania Man Sentenced to Prison For Using Stolen ID’s to Seek Fraudulent Tax Refunds

A Philadelphia man was sentenced to eight months in prison for conspiring to defraud the United States and to aiding and abetting the filing of false claims for tax refunds, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Louis D. Lappen for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division

According to documents filed with the court, Shamback Francois, 28, engaged in a scheme to fraudulently obtain income tax refunds through the filing of false tax returns using stolen personal identifying information. At least one of Francois’s co-conspirators electronically filed the returns, which directed that the fraudulently claimed refunds be deposited into a bank account in the name of Shamback Tax Services. Francois did not have a tax preparation service, but had opened up the account in order to facilitate the crime. Francois withdrew funds from this account to pay his co-conspirators. He admitted to causing a loss of $425,841.14.

In addition to the term of prison imposed, U.S. District Judge John R. Padova of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ordered Francois to serve three years of supervised release and to pay $425,841.14 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Acting U.S. Attorney Lappen and Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation and the FBI, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Ignall and Trial Attorney Eric B. Powers of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.

Updated August 1, 2017