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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 23, 2015

Tampa Man Charged For His Role in Stolen Identity Refund Scheme

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the return of an indictment charging Demetrius Wright with four counts of theft of government funds, two counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated identity theft and theft of government funds. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison for each of the theft charges, two years for each aggravated identity theft charge, and up to five years’ imprisonment for the conspiracy offense. The indictment also notifies Wright that the United States is seeking a money judgment in the amount of $165,317.00, the proceeds of the criminal conduct.

According to the indictment, between February 2012 and December 2014, Wright engaged in a conspiracy with others to file fraudulent federal income tax returns on behalf of taxpayers who had no knowledge of the scheme. As a result of the numerous fraudulently filed tax returns, the Internal Revenue Service paid a total of $165,317.00 into various bank accounts to which Wright had access.

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

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Tampa Police Department. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay L. Hoffer.

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Updated February 5, 2015