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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 16, 2018

Illegal Alien Sentenced to More than 7 Years in Prison for $20M Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Scheme

PITTSBURGH, Pa. –A former resident of Ozone Park, New York, has been sentenced in federal court to 87 months in prison and three years of supervised release on his conviction of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

United States District Judge David S. Cercone imposed the sentence on Abiodun Bakre, who was in the United States illegally during the period in which he committed the offenses. In imposing sentence, Judge Cercone noted that the wire fraud conspiracy in which Bakre participated was the largest financial fraud case the Court had presided over in more than 30 years on the bench. All told, the fraud involved over $69 million in attempted losses, with more than $20 million in fraudulently obtained federal tax refunds actually being sent out by the Internal Revenue Service. The Court also noted that over 11,000 people "were the victims of this nefarious activity."

According to information presented to the court, Bakre opened numerous bank accounts using stolen identities for the purpose of using those bank accounts as repositories for fraudulently obtained federal tax refunds. In the course of the investigation, a search of Bakre’s residence uncovered multiple ledgers containing hundreds of stolen identities and numerous false identification documents which were used in furtherance of the conspiracy.

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

U.S. Attorney Brady commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Bakre.

Topic(s): 
Identity Theft
Tax
Updated March 16, 2018