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Press Release

Manatee County Man Indicted For Stolen Identity Refund Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Ledale Johnson with three counts of credit card fraud, two counts of filing false tax returns, and three counts of aggravated identity theft.  If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of up to ten years in federal prison for each count of credit card fraud, up to five years for each of the false tax filing counts, and a consecutive two-year term for the aggravated identity theft counts.  The indictment also notifies Johnson that the United States is seeking a money judgment of $48,416, the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct.  Johnson had his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli and was detained.

According to the indictment, on several occasions between October 2011 and March 2012, Johnson possessed and used unauthorized and counterfeit debit cards that had been loaded with fraudulently obtained tax refunds.  Those refunds were the result of tax returns that had been filed using stolen identities.  Johnson also filed a fraudulent tax return in his name and the name of another individual.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has violated one or more federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, the Bradenton Police Department, and the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation.  It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kelley C. Howard-Allen.

Updated February 4, 2016

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft