Clearwater Man Sentenced To Eight Years For Stolen Identity Refund Fraud
Tampa, Florida - U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore sentenced Carlos Johnson yesterday to eight years in federal prison for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. As part of his sentence, the court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $431,625.00, the proceeds of the offenses. Johnson was also ordered to forfeit a Cadillac and a Dodge Charger that were purchased with the fraud proceeds. Johnson pleaded guilty on February 26, 2013.
According to court documents, Johnson engaged in stolen identity tax refund fraud from as early as July 2011 through October 2012. More than 170 fraudulent tax returns were electronically filed from his residence during this period. Johnson was also tied to additional returns based on his use of debit cards containing fraudulently obtained tax refunds. Johnson used the fraudulently obtained money from the U.S. Treasury for cars and travel, including a Cadillac CTS and a stay at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and the Clearwater Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sara C. Sweeney.