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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Estill Man Sentenced to Prison for Identity Theft Tax Fraud

Contact Person: Rhett DeHart (843) 727-4381

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Angel Masdeu, age 52, of Estill, SC was sentenced in federal court in Charleston, South Carolina, for aggravated identify theft, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A. United States District Judge Richard M. Gergel of Charleston sentenced Masdeu to 24 months imprisonment and one year of supervised release.

Evidence presented in this case established that Masdeu stole the identifying information of individuals, and using this stolen identifying information, he filed fraudulent tax returns that claimed false tax refunds. After a thorough investigation, the IRS determined that Masdeu’s identify theft caused more than $260,000 in loss to the United States Treasury due to fraudulent tax refunds.

“Investigating refund fraud and identity theft is a top priority of IRS Criminal Investigation,” said IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Holloman III. “Stealing identities and filing false tax returns is a serious crime that hurts innocent taxpayers. Today’s sentencing should serve as a strong warning to those considering similar conduct. Law enforcement and the US Attorney’s Office will vigorously pursue these crimes and will hold those accountable who would defraud the government.”

The case was investigated by agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigative Division. Assistant United States Attorney Rhett DeHart of the Charleston office prosecuted the case.

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Updated February 12, 2015