Ashburn Man Pleads Guilty To Filing Over 1100 Fraudulent Tax Returns
Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced that Antonio Taylor, age 44, of Ashburn, Georgia, entered a plea of guilty on March 13, 2015 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft before the Honorable W. Louis Sands, Senior U.S. District Court Judge, in Albany, Georgia.
As a part of his plea agreement, Mr. Taylor admitted he conspired with his wife, Patrice Taylor, Victoria Davis and Jarrett Jones to file over 1,100 fraudulent tax returns between January 2011 and February 2013. At least 1,089 of the returns were filed electronically from two IP addresses registered to Mrs. Taylor, both located at their home. From January 2012 to October 2012, a cell phone subscribed to Mrs. Taylor was used to call the Internal Revenue Service’s Automated Electronic Filing PIN Request 114 times. The actual loss, the amount of funds which was obtained by fraud, is approximately $1,199,897.00.
Mrs. Taylor entered a guilty plea to related charges on February 11, 2015. Likewise, Ms. Davis and Mr. Jones entered pleas of guilty to related charges on July 9, 2014 and October 9, 2014, respectively. All are awaiting sentencing.
For conspiracy to commit wire fraud, Mr. Taylor faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, or both. For aggravated identity theft, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, a maximum fine of $250,000, or both.
“Wire fraud and identity theft have become the crime of choice for defendants seeking to steal money that belongs to the taxpayers. As we approach tax season, this case reminds those who follow the law to be careful with any personal information that may be vulnerable, and those who choose to break the law should know that we are going to catch you –it’s just a matter of time,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Moore.
“Individuals who engage in tax refund fraud will be held accountable for their actions,” stated Veronica F. Hyman-Pillot, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “This defendant clearly took advantage of the people in his community as well as other unsuspecting Americans. It is our hope that today's plea will send a strong message that participation in refund fraud schemes does not pay and those who choose to participate will be prosecuted.”
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, assisted by the Ashburn Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jim Crane is prosecuting the case for the Government.
Questions concerning this case should be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603.