Former IRS Employee Indicted for Taxpayer ID Theft, Tax Fraud Conspiracy
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a former employee of the Internal Revenue Service is among three defendants who have been indicted for stealing taxpayers’ identity information in order to receive fraudulent tax refunds.
Taylor S. Knight, 32, and Michael J. Moore, 27, both of Kansas City, Mo., and Michael Stalcup, 42, of Farley, Mo., were charged in a six-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. The indictment was unsealed and made public today upon their arrests and initial court appearances.
According to the indictment, Knight worked as an employee of the IRS at the office at 333 W. Pershing Rd., Kansas City, from March 2009 to January 2012. Taylor allegedly abused her position of trust by accessing the information of three taxpayers without authorization.
On Sept. 30, 2011, Knight allegedly used the information from two of the victim taxpayers to submit a bogus online application for three prepaid debit cards. These debit cards were issued and mailed to the residence of Moore’s grandmother, the indictment says. Moore allegedly monitored the mail sent to his grandmother’s address and retrieved the three prepaid debit cards.
For one of the victim taxpayers, the indictment says, Knight submitted a bogus online application for a prepaid debit card that was approved and mailed to an address in Oak Grove, Mo.; this debit card was never used. The indictment alleges that Knight submitted this false online application to test whether her scheme to defraud the IRS was viable.
On Oct. 17, 2011, one of the conspirators allegedly submitted a 2010 tax return for two of the victim taxpayers, who were married and filed their taxes jointly. The IRS approved a $46,572 refund, the indictment says, of which $5,000 was deposited on a debit card that had been obtained by Knight. The IRS attempted to deposit the remaining $41,572 refund on the other debit cards obtained by Knight, according to the indictment, but the receiving banks rejected the deposits.
Moore allegedly telephoned the IRS and falsely claimed to be the victim. He allegedly provided the IRS representative pertinent personal identification information for both victims and requested the IRS to send the remaining tax refund to a new address located in Independence, Mo. Moore identified this address, the indictment says, because it was his former residence and he knew it was unoccupied.
In August 2011, the victim taxpayers filed legitimate amended tax returns. According to the indictment, a $46,734 refund check was sent to the Independence address. Moore allegedly received the refund check at his former residence and gave it to Knight. Knight allegedly paid Stalcup $500 to help her cash the refund check. Knight allegedly obtained false identification documents – including Social Security cards and driver’s licenses – so that she and Stalcup could assume the identity of the victim taxpayers. They attempted to cash the refund check at a local gas station, but the business refused and reported the incident to law enforcement.
The federal indictment charges Knight, Moore and Stalcup with participating in a conspiracy to defraud the United States by using the identification of genuine taxpayers to fraudulently induce the IRS into issuing tax refund payments based on false information submitted by co-conspirators.
In addition to the conspiracy, Knight and Moore are charged together with one count of the theft of government money, two counts of aggravated identity theft, one count of mail fraud and one count of the misuse of a Social Security number.
Dickinson cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Alford. It was investigated by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.