Plantation Resident Pled Guilty in Identity Theft Tax Fraud Scheme
A Broward County resident pled guilty 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, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, 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 twenty years in prison for the conspiracy 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 court documents, 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. 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 found four notebooks containing PII, two computers (one of which had numerous Social Security numbers and other personal identification information (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. A forensic analysis revealed that the documents, computers, and debit/credit cards seized from Wright’s residence contained identifying or account information for over 14,000 individuals.
Court documents also indicate that agents found a laptop computer outside Wright’s apartment that contained a video depicting the defendant counting money.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the IRS-CI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Wood.
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.