Plano Man Sentenced to 33 Months in Federal Prison for Role in Scheme to Obtain and Use Stolen Identieis to Steal Federal Income Tax Refunds
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas
Defendant Also Ordered to Pay $480,683 in Restitution
DALLAS — A Plano, Texas, man who admitted his role in a stolen identity tax refund scheme was sentenced today, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Benjamin Kinyua, who is a resident of Plano, according to the court’s order setting conditions of his release, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater to 33 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $480,643 in restitution. Kinyua pleaded guilty to one count of theft of federal funds and aiding and abetting.
Two others charged and convicted in the case have also been sentenced. Thomas Nganga Muya is currently serving a 27-month federal prison sentence and Harry Fabrice Cheickh Amont is currently serving a 30-month federal prison sentence.
According to Kinyua’s filed factual resume, from 2012 through May 17, 2013, Kinyua regularly acquired and then cashed U.S. Treasury checks, as well as third-party tax refund checks that he knew had either been stolen or obtained by fraud. Mostly, Kinyua cashed the checks at a check-cashing business in Dallas County. From February 2013 through May 17, 2013, Kinyua also presented and participated in the presentation of 16 checks to undercover agents of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), who were posing as persons willing to pay cash for stolen tax refund checks. The factual resume outlines the fencing of a $595,901 stolen IRS refund check.
IRS-CI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Stokes was in charge of the prosecution.
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Updated February 4, 2016