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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 1, 2016

Married Couple Sentenced To More Than Six Years In Federal Prison For Tax Fraud And Identity Theft

Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington today sentenced Jessieca Omowele (30, Tampa) and her husband, Kevin B. Jones (31, Tampa) to six years and three months in federal prison for theft of government property and aggravated identity theft stemming from their involvement in a stolen identity tax fraud (SIRF) conspiracy. The Court also ordered them to pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $1,586,245.39, which are the proceeds traceable to the conspiracy. 

Both Omowele and Jones pleaded guilty on September 7, 2016.

According to court documents, from at least 2011, through and including 2015, Omowele and Jones, together and with others, agreed and conspired to electronically file fraudulent federal income tax returns using the personal identifiable information (PII) of unknowing identity theft victims, some of whom were deceased, in order to obtain tax refunds to which they were not entitled. Many, if not all, of these returns were electronically filed from the defendants’ residence, with the refunds directed to be deposited onto debit cards in the conspirators’ names and/or sent to addresses associated with the conspirators. Omowele and Jones then used the debit cards at retail stores, ATMs, and to make online purchases. Records show that they also used their victims’ information to obtain utility service at their home and to apply for student loans, all without their victims’ knowledge or consent. 

To date, the IRS has determined that the conspirators filed and caused to be filed false and fraudulent federal income tax returns using stolen PII from over 1,500 individuals, claiming refunds totaling $9,424,989.41. As a result of the scheme, the conspirators received $1,586,245.39 in proceeds.     

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Tampa Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mandy Riedel.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
StopFraud
Tax
Component(s): 
Updated December 2, 2016