Mesquite Woman Sentenced to 132 Months in Federal Prison and Ordered to Pay $2,294,442 in Restitution in Stolen-Identity Tax Refund Case
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas
DALLAS — Yolanda Lavell Kaiser was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn to 132 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $2,294,442 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) following her guilty plea in April 2015 to one count of wire fraud stemming from a stolen-identity tax refund scheme she ran. At sentencing today, Judge Lynn noted Kaiser’s lengthy criminal history as one of the reasons for the sentencing, pointing specifically to Kaiser’s 2004 federal conviction in the Northern District of Texas for aiding or assisting in the preparation of false tax returns. Judge Lynn also found Kaiser’s offense caused substantial financial hardship to many of the more than 1,300 identity-theft victims in the case. U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas made the announcement today.
According to factual resume filed in the case, from approximately September 2013 through August 2014, Kaiser prepared and electronically filed, over interstate wires, fraudulent tax returns using the name, Social Security Number, and other means of identification of actual persons, without lawful authority, to fraudulently obtain U.S. federal tax refunds. She prepared and filed tax returns through a tax preparation business known as Right 1 Tax Services, which was located on North Galloway in Mesquite and later on Estate Lane in Dallas.
Kaiser obtained and possessed, according to the factual resume, means of identification of other individuals, without their knowledge or consent, and obtained prepaid debit cards issued in the names of those other individuals. Using others’ identification, she filed and caused to be filed false federal income tax returns to requesting tax refund and directing those refunds be deposited on prepaid debit cards associated with unique account numbers. Kaiser made cash withdrawals of refunds deposited into accounts, including making withdrawals with prepaid debit cards.
As an example, in February 2014, Kaiser electronically filed a false federal tax return in the name of W.F. and obtained a $5,098 refund, according to the factual resume. The return was false and fraudulent because Kaiser did not have authorization to file a return on behalf of W.F. and because the information contained on the return was materially false, including false information about W.F.’s W-2 wages. Because of the fraudulent return, the IRS deposited a $5,098 refund onto an Advent Financial Instant Issue Debit Card that Kaiser then used to make cash withdrawals from ATMs.
IRS Criminal Investigation, with assistance from the Mesquite Police Department and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Nicholas Bunch prosecuted.
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Updated February 4, 2016