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Press Release

Tampa Man Sentenced To More Than 4 Years In Prison For Stolen Identity Refund Fraud

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

Tampa, Florida - U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington yesterday sentenced Nedal Faisal Ahmad to four years and three months in federal prison for mail fraud and aggravated identity theft. As part of his sentence, the court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $35,989.75, the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct. Ahmad pleaded guilty on March 8, 2013.

According to court documents, through his business and through other means, Ahmad negotiated U.S. Treasury checks and reloadable debit cards containing fraudulently obtained tax refunds. For instance, Ahmad "swiped" reloadable debit cards at his business (Al-Wafaa Trading), knowing that the funds on these cards were fraudulently obtained tax refunds, and kept a large portion of the cards’ value as a fee for processing the illegal funds. Ahmad processed over $60,000 of fraudulently obtained tax refunds through his business.

Ahmad was also involved in cashing fraudulent U.S. Treasury checks. The treasury checks were tax refunds that were fraudulently obtained by others. Beginning in October 2011, Ahmad began sending fraudulent Treasury checks via the U.S. mail and other delivery services to an individual in New York. Ahmad further instructed the individual to pay him sixty percent of the funds from the check, while the associate could keep the remaining forty percent. During the undercover operation, Ahmad sent the associate nine fraudulently obtained U.S. Treasury checks, totaling over $95,000 of stolen money from the U.S. Treasury.

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service, Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and the Tampa Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sara C. Sweeney and Amanda L. Riedel.

This case was prosecuted as part of Operation Rainmaker, a coordinated effort among the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida and various federal and local law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Secret Service, IRS, United States Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Tampa Police Department, and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department to combat the filing of false tax returns in the Tampa Bay region.

Updated January 26, 2015