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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Former Utica Resident Sentenced To 12 Years In Prison For IRS Tax Refund Scam

Anas K. Wilson received more than $400,000 in fraudulent tax refunds from the IRS

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – On June 15, 2015, ANAS K. WILSON, 33, a former resident of Utica, New York, was sentenced to 12 years in prison by the Honorable Frederick J. Scullin, Jr., announces United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian, Shantelle P. Kitchen, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of IRS-Criminal Investigation, Craig W. Rupert, Special Agent in Charge, Defense Criminal Investigative Service ("DCIS") Northeast Field Office, and Robert E. O’Malley, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration ("TIGTA"). Judge Scullin also imposed a forfeiture money judgment on Mr. Wilson of $414,000. As part of his sentence, Wilson will serve a three-year term of supervised release after completing his prison term.

Wilson pled guilty in November 2014 to theft of government property and aggravated identity theft for his role in a fraudulent tax return scheme. Wilson’s crimes involved electronically filing hundreds of fraudulent U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns on behalf of victims who were not entitled to tax refunds and then directing the tax refunds received to bank accounts he had established in the names of third parties. The investigation revealed that Wilson posed as an IRS employee at times in order to obtain the personal identifying information (including Social Security numbers and names) of the victims. After refunds were issued for the fraudulent tax returns, Wilson paid others to withdraw the funds from various banks and provide him the money. Wilson was ultimately responsible for submitting fraudulent tax returns to the IRS that resulted in the release of at least $414,000 in false tax refunds by the IRS.

United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian stated, "The significant sentence imposed by the court today should serve as a clear warning that those who engage in illegal schemes to enrich themselves unjustly will pay a heavy price when they are caught. I commend all those agencies responsible for bringing this defendant to justice." Special Agent in Charge Craig W. Rupert, on behalf of DCIS, stated, "Today’s sentencing illustrates the seriousness of identity theft schemes. In this case, the defendant’s acts served to undermine well-intentioned government programs and defrauded the American taxpayer. Thwarting these efforts is a major concern for DCIS, and I applaud the agents and prosecutors who worked tirelessly to bring about this result." Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen stated the following on behalf of IRS-Criminal Investigation: "This sentence sends a strong message about the government’s resolve to investigate and prosecute tax refund fraud involving stolen identities. These cases remain a top priority for IRS-Criminal Investigation, and we will continue to work with the United States Attorney’s Office and our partner law enforcement agencies to stop such abuses of our nation’s tax system." Special Agent in Charge Robert O’Malley, on behalf of TIGTA, stated, "Identity theft is an extremely serious crime, particularly when it involves the impersonation of an employee of the Internal Revenue Service. We will aggressively investigate all crimes that involve efforts to impersonate IRS employees."

This case was investigated by the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, DCIS, and TIGTA, and it was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael F. Perry.

For additional information, contact Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney John G. Duncan at 315-448-0672.

Updated June 16, 2015