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Press Release

Canadian citizen unlawfully in the United States sentenced to prison for filing fraudulent tax returns using stolen identities seeking more than $1 million in refunds

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

ATLANTA – Vladimir Pierre a/k/a Jimmy Valentine, originally of Montreal, Canada, has been sentenced for his role in a stolen identity tax refund fraud scheme.   

"There is no shortage of fraudsters who commit tax fraud using stolen identities—crimes that directly impact every American taxpayer,” said U.S. Attorney Byung “BJay” Pak.  “These schemes can be a nightmare for citizens who must endure the process of repairing their credit and IRS returns, citizens are wise to regularly monitor their credit reports for fraud.”

“Individuals who commit identity theft and refund fraud of this magnitude deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” said Thomas J. Holloman, III, Atlanta Field Office Special Agent in Charge.  “Pierre demonstrated a blatant disregard of the integrity of the United States tax system and caused immeasurable hardship to innocent victims. IRS Criminal Investigation remains committed to the pursuit of identity theft and, together with our partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, we will hold those who engage in similar conduct accountable.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court:  In May 2019, Pierre pleaded guilty to theft of government funds and aggravated identity theft. He admitted that between approximately January 2015 and April 2018, he filed over 150 fraudulent returns, a significant number of which involved the use of stolen identities, seeking more than $1 million in refunds. Pierre also admitted that as a result of his scheme he caused more than $340,000 in losses to the federal government.

The government noted at sentencing that Pierre took a number of intricate steps to conceal his scheme, including advertising his tax services under a fictitious name, using electronic filing identification numbers and preparer tax identification numbers in the names of others to file returns, and obtaining a tax preparation product using a stolen identity. 

Prior to his arrest in December 2018, Pierre had been unlawfully residing in the Atlanta-area for several years after overstaying his visa.

U.S. District Judge Eleanor Ross sentenced Vladimir Pierre, 39, of Atlanta, Georgia, to serve four years, nine months in prison, three years of supervised release, removal to Canada from the United States, and ordered to pay $341,996 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. 

Many tax fraudsters, for their success, depend on filing a fraudulent return with a stolen identity before their victims file their genuine returns.   Filing early and avoiding use of obvious usernames and passwords for online tax websites are two ways to help protect yourself.

IRS-Criminal Investigation investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex R. Sistla prosecuted this case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is

Updated August 28, 2019

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft