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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Monday, December 22, 2014

Buffalo Woman Arrested, Charged With Fraud

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:           (716) 843-5817
FAX:                 (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Kalah O. Bishop, 25, of Buffalo, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with fraud in connection with the use of access devices. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Maura K. O’Donnell, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant participated in a scheme involving the filing of fraudulent Federal income tax returns via the internet with the Internal Revenue Service. According to the complaint, approximately 49 fraudulent returns were filed for the tax year 2013 with requested refunds totaling more than $200,000. 

The complaint further states that the IRS issued refunds to prepaid debit cards in the names of numerous individuals. Bishop subsequently used the cards to make cash withdrawals at local automated teller machines.

Bishop made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder and was released.

The criminal complaint is the culmination of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Shantelle P. Kitchen, Acting Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Updated December 29, 2014