Cobb County Man Charged In Identity Theft Scheme
Defendant Claimed Over $5.5 Million in Fraudulent Tax Refunds
ATLANTA - Bradford Thomas has been arraigned on charges of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and theft of government funds. Thomas was indicted by a federal grand jury on August 13, 2013.
“This defendant is accused of attempting to defraud the U.S. Treasury out of millions of dollars by seeking 1200 tax refunds in the names of unsuspecting taxpayers,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.
“Identity thieves are becoming more devious, creative, and conniving,” stated Veronica Hyman-Pillot, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation. “They steal our identities, steal government money and prey upon innocent citizens. These criminals must be and will continue to be pursued in order to obtain justice for the victims as well as justice for our nation.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: From January 2010 through May 2013, Thomas orchestrated a scheme to file over 1,200 false tax returns using the names and social security numbers of various victims, many of whom were incarcerated in jails or prisons throughout the country. The false tax returns claimed over $5.5 million in fraudulent tax refunds which were directed to be deposited into bank accounts controlled by Thomas or individuals working with him. The scheme caused an actual loss of over $1.6 million in taxpayer money.
In conjunction with the arrest of Thomas, two locations, a business named “Immaculate Autos” in Kennesaw, Ga., and his primary residence in Acworth, Ga., were searched by federal agents. Both are suspected to be places where electronic returns were submitted to the IRS.
Bradford Thomas, 46, of Cobb County, Ga., was arraigned today before United States Magistrate Judge Linda T. Walker.
The indictment charges 10 counts of wire fraud, 10 counts of aggravated identity theft, and 8 counts of theft of government funds. Each wire fraud count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and each theft of government funds count carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. In addition, the aggravated identity theft charges carry at least one mandatory two-year consecutive sentence to any other sentence imposed. Each count also carries a fine of up to $250,000. However, in determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders. The United States is also seeking the forfeiture of all funds derived from or involved in this scheme.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.
Assistant United States Attorneys Thomas J. Krepp and Mary F. Kruger are prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.