Tampa Man Pleads Guilty To Role In Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Scheme
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Walter M. Fambro has pleaded guilty to theft of government funds and possession of unauthorized access devices. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison for each count. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to the facts at the plea hearing, between June 2011 and September 2013, Fambro was involved in a scheme to file false and fraudulent income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service in order to generate large refunds deposited onto debit cards. When law-enforcement officers arrested Fambro on September 1, 2013, he had 29 debit cards in the names of different individuals in his possession, along with a laptop computer, ledger sheets, and hospital patient records containing the personal identifying information of numerous individuals. The investigation revealed that the IRS had received fraudulent tax returns in the names of many of those individuals which resulted in the delivery of fraudulent income tax refunds, totaling approximately $326,133.00, to debit cards that Fambro used or controlled.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, with the assistance from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay L. Hoffer.