Turner County Man Sentenced To Prison For Tax Fraud And Identity Theft
Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia announced that Tomeka D. Wilburn, aged 32, of Ashburn, Georgia, was sentenced on July 23, 2015, before the Honorable W. Louis Sands, Senior United States District Court Judge, in Albany, Georgia as follows:
Mr. Wilburn was sentenced to 87 months in the Bureau of Prisons for one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. Mr. Wilburn was also ordered to make restitution in the total amount of $58,648 to the Internal Revenue Service.
On December 12, 2014, Mr. Wilburn entered a written plea agreement in which he pled guilty to two counts of the indictment. As set forth in the plea agreement, Wilburn admitted that he electronically filed approximately 74 fraudulent federal income tax returns in the names of third parties.
The investigation into Mr. Wilburn began on April 12, 2012, when the Ashburn Police Department executed a search warrant on Wilburn’s residence while investigating an unrelated burglary. The search revealed 15 pre-paid debit cards in the names of third parties and other documents indicating a resident of the house was engaged in fraudulent tax filing and identity theft. Mr. Wilburn admitted to an Ashburn Police Officer that he had been “doing Turbo Taxes.”
As the plea agreement further states, “while the investigation into Mr. Wilburn’s fraudulent tax filing was going on, he returned to criminal activity. On March 21, 2014, Ashburn Police Department executed a second search warrant at Wilburn’s residence which showed he had continued to be involved in fraud and identity theft.
The plea agreement stipulated that the intended or attempted loss to the government was greater than $120,000, but less than $200,000. Wilburn actually succeeded in obtaining $58,648 in fraudulent refunds from the I.R.S.
“Thanks to the great investigative work of the Ashburn Police Department what started as a burglary investigation resulted in thwarting an identity theft and tax fraud scheme,” said Veronica F. Hyman-Pillot, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “As the defendant in this case has learned, stealing from the American people will not be tolerated and you will be held accountable.”
“This is a great example of the benefits to be gained by local, state and federal agencies working together as a team. I am proud that my office was part of this team and helped bring Mr. Wilburn’s various criminal activities to an end,” said Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation and the Ashburn Police Department. Jim Crane prosecuted the case on behalf of the government.
Inquiries regarding the case should be directed to Pamela Lightsey at the United States Attorney’s Office at 478-621-2603.