Broward Resident Charged in Identity Theft Tax Fraud Scheme
A Broward County resident was charged in an identity theft fraud scheme, involving 734 unauthorized tax returns.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement.
Keyiona Marvette Wright, 27, of Plantation, Florida, was charged by criminal complaint with one count of possessing fifteen or more unauthorized access devices, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(3), and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A. The defendant faces a maximum statutory sentence of ten years in prison for the unauthorized access charge, and a mandatory term of two years in prison, consecutive to any other term of imprisonment, for the aggravated identity theft charge.
According to the criminal complaint, from March 25, 2014 to May 6, 2015, forty-six federal tax returns were filed with the IRS claiming refunds of $135,196 from an IP address in Plantation, Florida. From September 16, 2014 to May 5, 2015, at least 688 rejected federal tax returns, claiming refunds of $733,276, were electronically transmitted to the IRS from this same IP address. Agents confirmed that the IP address was assigned to an apartment rented by Wright.
Based on this information, agents executed a search warrant at Wright’s residence and allegedly found four notebooks containing PII, two computers (one of which had numerous social security numbers and other PII displayed on the screen), a bag and suitcase each containing thousands of PII in paper form, multiple pre-paid/value cards and gift cards, hundreds of documents containing PII (including Department of Labor applications), and papers containing PII scattered throughout the apartment.
The complaint also alleges that agents found a laptop computer outside the searched apartment, next to the bathroom window. The complaint further alleges that the agents were able to view a video on the laptop, which showed Wright counting money.
Wright had her initial appearance on May 8, 2015 before United States Magistrate Judge Patrick M. Hunt.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Wood.
The complaint merely contains allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov