Three Sentenced and Two Indicted for Tax Refund Fraud and Identity Theft Schemes
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced today that three individuals have been sentenced to federal prison and two more have been indicted by a federal grand jury in the past months for their roles in related tax refund fraud and identity theft schemes.
Today, Rex E. Robinson, Jr., 29, of Cantonment, Florida, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson to 75 months in prison after having pled guilty to mail fraud and aggravated identity theft charges stemming from his participation in a scheme to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by filing over 100 false tax returns using other people’s identities, the majority of whom were deceased. Robinson was found in possession of approximately 566 individuals’ identities, 179 of which were actually used to file the fraudulent returns attributed to the scheme. As a result of his scheme, the IRS mailed out $87,324 in fraudulently obtained tax refund checks to Robinson’s various addresses, which Robinson was ordered to pay back in restitution as part of his sentence.
Last week, Ariyanna S. Lampley (previously Schuyler J. Nickerson), 32, of Pensacola, Florida, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers to 75 months in prison after having pled guilty to theft of government money and aggravated identity theft. Lampley forged a deceased person’s signature and deposited into her account one of the fraudulent tax refund checks obtained by Robinson, knowing that Robinson had obtained it by filing false returns. Lampley was ordered to pay back $212,792.96 in restitution to the IRS not only for the check she deposited for Robinson, but for the over 70 additional fraudulently obtained federal tax refund checks she had cashed for others since 2010.
This past July, Brian Richardson, 28, of Cantonment, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson to 12 months and one day in prison after having pled guilty to aggravated identity theft. Richardson stole the personal identifying information of over 40 elderly hospital patients from his employer and provided it to Robinson for use in the tax fraud scheme.
In addition, on October 21, 2014, a federal grand jury indicted Richard J. Beverly II, 25, and Andrey C. Cook, 33, both of Pensacola, on mail fraud and aggravated identity theft charges in a related but separate case. The indictment alleges Beverly filed approximately 40 false tax returns to get over $85,000 in tax refunds using the identities of deceased persons and disabled patients living at a group home in Pensacola, which were stolen and provided by Cook. Both defendants have pled not guilty, and trial is currently scheduled for December 1, 2014, before Senior U.S. District Judge Lacey Collier.
These cases resulted from investigations by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations Division, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alicia Kim.
An indictment is merely an allegation by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.