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Press Release

Valdosta Man Sentenced For Tax Fraud And Stolen Treasury Checks

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

VALDOSTA: Charles E. Peeler, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announces that on May 9, 2018, United States District Court Judge Hugh Lawson sentenced Kendrick Manning, age 42, of Valdosta, GA, to 60 months imprisonment for Conspiracy to Embezzle Public Monies and Possess Stolen U.S. Treasury Checks. Mr. Manning pled guilty to the offense on January 18, 2018.

In entering his pleas, Mr. Manning admitted that in 2011, he obtained identifying information for a number of individuals, including nursing home residents and state prisoners from other unnamed co-conspirators, for the purpose of filing fraudulent income tax returns. From April 2011 to mid-2012, Mr. Manning filed fraudulent tax returns with the IRS using computer-based filing methods. Mr. Manning and co-conspirators would receive the fraudulent tax refunds generated by the tax returns in the form of direct deposit in multiple bank accounts held in the name of different individuals or as debit cards which would be loaded with the tax refund amounts.

102 fraudulent returns for tax year 2010 were filed by Mr. Manning, claiming refunds totaling about $450,000, on which nearly $300,000 in refunds were paid. For tax year 2011, Mr. Manning filed approximately 432 fraudulent returns totaling more than $3.7 million, with $1,185,259 in refund issued.

In 2013, the conspiracy continued with Mr. Manning and co-conspirators presenting stolen and otherwise fraudulently obtained United States Treasury checks, including tax refund checks, through a bank account to convert the checks into cash. Mr. Manning admitted that he had received the Treasury checks knowing them to be fraudulent and stolen. The checks that were presented were mostly tax returns, but some included Thrift Savings Plan payments, Social Security payments, and other types of tax related refunds.

The intended monetary loss attributable to Mr. Manning based on the conspiracy was more than $4.7 million belonging to the United States. As a part of the sentence, more than $2 million has been ordered to be paid in restitution to the United States Department of Treasury, The Citizens Bank in Nashville, Georgia and ABA Insurance Services, Inc.

“It is disheartening that tax fraud and identity theft is so prevalent,” United States Attorney Charles Peeler said. “My office is committed to prosecuting those individuals who defraud others and the United States.” 

“The sentencing of Manning is another victory in the Internal Revenue Service’s continued efforts to combat identity theft,” said Thomas J. Holloman, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “Even though the tax filing season is over, taxpayer’s need to remain vigilant in protecting their identifying information as the criminals commit their fraud year round.” 

“This case is another example that clearly shows criminals are continuing to steal personal identifying information (PII) for the purpose of committing fraud,” said Clint Bush, Resident Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service. “In this case, United States Citizens were violated by having their PII stolen along with their legitimately issued tax refund checks. Many of these victims were counting on their tax refund to survive. Their tax refund being stolen placed a huge financial burden on their lives causing long lasting consequences. The United States Secret Service, along with our state, local, and federal law enforcement partners will continue to investigate, arrest and support the successful prosecution of the criminals who choose to commit this and other types of financial fraud in our community and around the nation.”

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Robert D. McCullers prosecuted the case for the United States.

Questions concerning this case should be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603.

Updated May 17, 2018