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Justice News

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

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Brooklyn Man Admits Participation in Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Scheme

ERIE, Pa. – A resident of Brooklyn, New York pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Festus Owusu, 44, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Owusu allowed his bank accounts to be used as repositories for fraudulently obtained federal tax refunds. Owusu would then withdraw the refunds in cash, keep a portion for himself and provide the remainder of the funds to his co-conspirators.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for February 6, 2017. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the amount of loss to the victims, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Owusu.

Updated October 13, 2016