Georgia Man Sentenced for $258,000 Identity Theft, Tax Refund Scheme
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Timothy A. Garrison, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Georgia man has been sentenced in federal court for using dozens of stolen identities to file fraudulent tax returns seeking $258,063 in refunds.
Jalen Ortez Gude, 25, of Hillsboro, Ga., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, to six years and nine months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Gude to pay $163, 305 in restitution.
On Aug. 24, 2017, Gude pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of identity theft. Gude admitted that, between January 2014 and March 13, 2015, he used the stolen identity information of at least 46 victims (including their names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth) to file fraudulent tax returns and receive tax refunds from both the federal government and the state of Missouri. According to court documents, those victims included residents of Cole County, Mo., whose stolen identity information had been released over the Internet.
The IRS stopped $94,592 in refunds from being processed; as a result, the aggregate amount of restitution due is $163,305 to 10 of Gude’s victims.
Gude opened bank accounts in the names of his identity theft victims so that the IRS and the Missouri Department of Revenue would transfer the refunds to bank accounts he controlled. This process permitted Gude to remain anonymous and to conduct his scheme, in part, from outside Missouri. Gude also used the stolen identity information to submit fraudulent online credit applications at banks and credit card companies.
This case was prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. It was investigated by the FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Missouri Department of Revenue – Compliance and Investigation Bureau and the Missouri Department of Revenue – Criminal Investigation Bureau.