HONOLULU MAN SENTENCED TO 24 MONTHS IN JAIL FOR FRAUDULENT TAX RETURN SCHEME
HONOLULU – Richard Lee Derrick, Jr., 52, a resident of Honolulu, Hawaii, was sentenced on January 10 to 24 months in federal prison for aggravated identity theft, announced Florence T. Nakakuni, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii.
According to court documents, Derrick engaged in a scheme by which he filed numerous fraudulent federal and state income tax returns using the personal information of others. Derrick pled guilty to aggravated identity theft on September 19, 2016. During that court proceeding, he admitted to filing one such fraudulent federal tax return using his deceased wife’s social security number on February 20, 2014. As part of a plea agreement, Derrick pled guilty to only one offense, but agreed that he was responsible for fraudulently obtaining $241,897.60 in refunds from the State of Hawaii.
During Tuesday’s sentencing proceedings, United States District Judge Derrick K. Watson noted that Derrick’s use of the personal identifiers of deceased people was particularly "sinister" because his victims could not detect his conduct or protect themselves from it. Judge Watson further noted that identity theft not only causes financial harm, but also gives rise to numerous other problems, as victims must often spend significant time and effort attempting to repair the damage caused by the release and use of their personal information. In addition to the 24 month term of imprisonment, Judge Watson ordered the payment of $241,897.60 in restitution to the State of Hawaii Department of Taxation.
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation; the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General; and the United States Postal Inspection Service; with the assistance of the State of Hawaii Department of Taxation, Criminal Investigation Section, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amalia Fenton.
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