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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 6, 2020

Three Charged in Wire Fraud Scheme that Used IRS Impersonators to Defraud U.S. Victims

PITTSBURGH, PA – Three southwestern Pennsylvania residents have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

The one-count Indictment, returned on January 16, named Ronnell Taylor, Jr., 37, of Jeannette Pennsylvania; Barry Nealer, 40, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Michael Galanis, 31, of Export, Pennsylvania, as defendants.

According to the indictment presented to the court, between March 2016, and August 2017, the defendants knowingly and willfully conspired to commit wire fraud, including, among other alleged conduct, by activating and programming cell phone numbers later used by individuals impersonating employees of the United States Internal Revenue Service to defraud victims in the United States.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Rachael L. Mamula is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government

The United States Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, United States Department of Homeland Security, and the United States Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated February 6, 2020