Skip to main content
Press Release

El Cerrito Resident Sentenced To Four And A Half Years In Prison For Stealing Ids And U.S. Treasury Checks

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California
Defendant Conspired to Cash More than $500,000 in Tax Refund and Social Security Checks

SAN FRANCISCO – Brandon Robinson was sentenced today to serve 54 months in prison for aggravated identity theft and conspiring to steal government funds, announced U.S. Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division. The sentence, handed down by the Honorable Jeffrey S. White, U.S. District Judge, follows a guilty plea entered earlier this year.

According to documents filed with the court, from about August 2013 through April 2015, Robinson, 35, of El Cerrito, and his co-conspirators, stole names of deceased individuals and used them to file federal tax returns seeking refunds. Robinson paid cashiers at stores in the Richmond-area to cash the fraudulently obtained refund checks. Robinson also cashed stolen tax refund and social security benefit checks that were intended for other individuals. Robinson admitted that he and his co-conspirators attempted to cash more than $500,000 in fraudulently obtained and stolen checks. 

On November 5, 2015, a federal grand jury indicted Robinson and charged him with one count of conspiracy to commit theft of public money, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371; three counts of theft of public money, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 641, and three counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A.  On February 14, 2017, Robinson pleaded guilty to the conspiracy count and one count of aggravated identity theft.  Pursuant to the plea agreement, the remaining counts were dismissed. 

In addition to the term of prison imposed, Judge White also ordered Robinson to serve three years of supervised release and to pay $30,111.90 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.  Judge White ordered Robinson to begin serving his prison term on July 13, 2017.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas Newman and Jose A. Olivera, and Trial Attorney Gregory Bernstein of the Justice Department Tax Division prosecuted the case.   U.S. Attorney Stretch and Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg commended the special agents of IRS–Criminal Investigation who conducted the investigation.

Updated June 22, 2017

Identity Theft