Two Georgia Men Sentenced for Conspiring to File False Tax Returns
ATLANTA - Obi Emelogu and Oloh Samuel have been sentenced for their involvement in a tax refund fraud scheme in which Emelogu filed false income tax returns and directed that the fraudulent refunds be deposited into bank accounts he and Samuel controlled.
“These defendants brazenly stole money from the American taxpayers with little regard for whom they affect,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn. “We have committed resources to combat this kind of theft, and will aggressively pursue and prosecute those who believe they can file false tax returns.”
“One of the Tax Division’s highest priorities is prosecuting individuals who use stolen identities to file fictitious income tax returns and claim fraudulent refunds,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo. “This street crime threatens the very fabric of tax administration and often victimizes the most vulnerable members of our communities. The Tax Division is committed to working with our partners in law enforcement to identify these schemes, dismantle the criminal operations and seek to incarcerate the offenders who view the Federal Treasury as their own personal bank account.”
“IRS Criminal Investigation will remain proactive in the investigation of individuals and groups especially return preparers, who engage in stealing the identities of innocent people,” said Veronica F. Hyman-Pillot, Special Agent in Charge. “We will continue to utilize every tool available to investigate those who conspire with each other to victimize members of our community for their own personal gain.”
“These sentences send a clear message that the federal government will aggressively investigate and prosecute the crime of identity theft involving stolen tax refunds,” said J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). “While criminals may find it easy to steal someone’s identity using their personal information, they need to know that the punishment for committing this crime will be commensurate with the devastating toll identity theft takes on its victims.”
According to Acting United States Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: Emelogu owned and operated “O.B. Consulting and Tax Services, LLC,” a tax preparation business in Marietta, Georgia. In 2012, Emelogu filed hundreds of false tax returns claiming fraudulent refunds that were directed into his bank account. Emelgou also filed false tax returns that were deposited into a bank account Samuel controlled. Electronic evidence also showed that additional false tax returns were filed from overseas and refunds were deposited into Samuel’s bank account. Many of the tax refunds that were directed into the defendants’ bank accounts came from tax returns that used stolen names and social security numbers.
Obi Emelogu, 51, of Woodstock, Georgia, has been sentenced to three years, and nine months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $719,872. Emelogu was convicted on these charges on October 10, 2014, after he pleaded guilty.
Oloh Samuel, 33, of Acworth, Georgia, has been sentenced to one year, and six months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $146,179. Samuel was convicted on these charges on December 2, 2014, after he pleaded guilty.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
Assistant United States Attorney Thomas J. Krepp and DOJ Criminal Tax Division Trial Attorney Jason Poole prosecuted 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 home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.