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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Man Sentenced To 7 1/2 Years For Identity Theft For Purposes Of Filing False Tax Returns

CHICAGO — A Chicago man was sentenced yesterday to 90 months in federal prison by U.S. District Court Judge Edmond E. Chang for his role in a scheme involving theft of hundreds of identities which were used to file approximately 395 false and fictitious tax returns claiming refunds in amounts totaling approximately $357,539. 

The defendant, ROBERT BROWN, pleaded guilty in January 2015 to one count each of aggravated identity theft and wire fraud in a six-count indictment, admitting that beginning in January 2010 and continuing through March 2014, in cooperation with his co-defendant, he submitted fraudulent federal income tax returns using the misappropriated personal identifying information of approximately 332 taxpayers, causing the IRS to issue refunds.  Several of the identities were stolen from residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.  Judge Chang also ordered Brown to pay restitution in amount of $308,829, which is the amount that Brown caused the IRS to pay in fraudulently claimed tax refunds, and imposed a period of 3 years of supervision after his release.  Brown is currently in federal custody.

Brown, 30, of Chicago, and co-defendant Lorenzo Brown, obtained personal identifying information from victim taxpayers, including names, social security numbers, and dates of birth, without the knowledge or consent of the victim taxpayers. Co-defendant Lorenzo Brown gave the misappropriated names, social security numbers, and dates of birth to defendant, who knew that Brown obtained the misappropriated identifying information from the residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, including the social security number and other personal identifying information.  The defendant prepared fraudulent tax returns and electronically filed those fraudulent tax returns claiming fraudulent refunds based upon false income and false tax withholding information, using the identifying information provided to him by his co-defendant.  The defendant caused the IRS to send fraudulently claimed tax refunds via prepaid debit card, United States Treasury check, or electronic funds transfers to bank accounts in the name of the co-defendant, who withdrew the funds from the bank accounts and provided portions of these funds to defendant.

  “This defendant used the personal identifying information of many victims, including the vulnerable elderly and disabled victims who reside in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, for his own personal gain,” stated Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Greening in the Government’s Sentencing Memorandum, “He profited greatly off of the use of the victims’ information.”

Co-Defendant Brown is scheduled to be sentenced June 25, 2015, by U.S. District Court Judge Chang.

The sentence was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Stephen Boyd, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division.

The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Greening.

Updated July 23, 2015