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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Charlotte Man Sentenced To Prison For Refund Fraud Scheme

Defendant Used Stolen Identities to File Dozens of Fraudulent Tax Returns

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, United States District Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. sentenced Boakai Boker, 29, of Charlotte, to 57 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release, in connection with a stolen identity refund fraud scheme, announced R. Andrew Murray, United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

U.S. Attorney Murray is joined in making today’s announcement by Reginald DeMatteis, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, Charlotte Field Office (USSS);  David M. McGinnis, Inspector in Charge of the United States Postal Inspection Service; and Matthew D. Line, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI).

According to court documents, trial, evidence, witness testimony, and today’s sentencing hearing, beginning in January 2014, Boker executed a scheme to submit fake tax returns to the IRS, using stolen personal identifying information, including names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers for dozens of individuals.  For example, according to trial evidence, Boker used the personal information of an individual identified as “E.P.” to file a fake tax return, which resulted in Boker gaining access to more than $40,000 in fraudulent proceeds.  

Court records show that Boker directed the IRS to send the fraudulent refund checks to addresses in Mooresville, N.C. which he controlled.  Boker then deposited the proceeds of the scheme into fraudulent bank accounts to which he had access.  In July 2017, a federal jury convicted Boker of wire fraud, bank fraud, false claims, and aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme.

U.S. Attorney Murray thanked the Secret Service, USPIS, and IRS-CI for conducting the investigation and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for its assistance with this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Taylor Phillips of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case.

For 2018, the IRS, the states and the tax industry joined together to enact new safeguards and take additional actions to combat tax-related identity theft. Among other things, the IRS maintains an identity protection website with information and guidance that can be found at:

https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams/identity-protection.

 

Topic(s): 
Tax
Updated April 18, 2018