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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Norfolk Man Pleads Guilty To Stealing Identities And Filing False Income Tax Returns

NORFOLK, Va. – Donte Demus, 26, of Norfolk, Va., pleaded guilty today in Norfolk federal court to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft for his role in a scheme to steal identities and file false income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Dana J. Boente, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.  Demus will be sentenced on December 4, 2014 and faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years and a maximum sentence of 22 years in federal prison.

According to court documents, Demus, along with two other conspirators, devised a scheme by which they stole the identities of individuals and used them to file false income tax returns with the IRS.  Demus obtained a number of identities from Travis Hager, a co-conspirator who was incarcerated in the Virginia Beach jail.  Demus passed these identities to a third co-conspirator who actually filed the false returns.  The refunds were then sent on a prepaid debit card to Demus at an address in Norfolk, Virginia.  According to the indictment, Demus and his co-conspirators attempted to fraudulently obtain in excess of $163,000 in fraudulent tax refunds.  As part of his plea agreement, Demus agreed to make restitution to the United States Treasury.

Travis Hager previously pleaded guilty for his role in the scheme on June 4, 2014.  He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 1, 2014.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division.  Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Kosky prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.

Updated March 25, 2015