Tampa Man Pleads Guilty To Role In Stolen Identity Tax Refund Scheme
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Cedric Clark (35, Tampa) has pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, one count of conspiracy, and one count of aggravated identity theft. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on the mail fraud count, up to 5 years’ imprisonment on the conspiracy count, and a mandatory consecutive term of 2 years for the aggravated identity theft charge.
According to the plea agreement, between October 2010 and June 2013, Clark engaged in a fraud scheme with individuals who had obtained the Personal Identification Information (PII) of more than 1,158 individuals and then had filed false and fraudulent income tax returns in their names, seeking large tax refunds. Clark controlled a post office box where many of the refund checks were mailed. He also controlled numerous bank accounts at various financial institutions where the IRS had wired the tax refunds requested in those fraudulent tax returns. The IRS paid a total of $637,621.62 to accounts that Clark controlled. The scheme involved the filing of many more returns that the IRS did not accept.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay L. Hoffer.