Florida man admits to unlawfully accessing IRS system and fraudulently filing tax returns
MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Keith Joseph, of Miami, Florida, has admitted to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld announced.
Joseph, age 37, pleaded guilty today to one count of “Wire Fraud” and one count of “Aggravated Identity Theft.” Joseph admitted to fraudulently accessing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) eAuthentication online taxpayer system, which has servers located in Berkeley County, from March 2015 to March 2017. Joseph obtained personal identifying information of taxpayers without their knowledge to gain access to the IRS online taxpayer system. Once he had access, Joseph unlawfully obtained income tax transcripts and fraudulently filed tax returns using the taxpayers’ personal identifying information.
As a part of the plea agreement, Joseph agreed to pay $142,237 in restitution.
Joseph faces up to 20 years of incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for the wire fraud count and two years of incarceration the aggravated identity theft count. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn M. Adkins is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Cybercrime Investigations Division investigated.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Trumble presided.