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Justice News

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

Friday, June 19, 2015

Madison Man Convicted Of Tax Fraud & Identity Theft

MADISON, WIS. -- John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Haroun B. Omar, 34, Madison, Wis., was convicted of tax and identity theft charges today following a five-day jury trial in federal court in Madison.  The jury reached its verdict after three hours of deliberation.

From August 2011 to April 2014, Omar obtained individuals’ personal identification information, including names and social security numbers, and conspired to use the information to prepare false federal income tax returns requesting tax refunds in the names of the individuals.  The fraudulently obtained tax refunds were at times placed on prepaid debit cards which were then used by Omar and his co-conspirators to obtain cash and to make purchases.  Omar’s actions caused a loss to the IRS of over $300,000. 

In just one 96 day period in late 2011, Omar used 28 different debit cards, each containing a tax refund based on a false tax return, to withdraw more than $200,000 from multiple ATMS in the Madison area and Kentucky.  He also recruited individuals in Madison to file false returns, and he shared in the resulting tax refunds.

The jury convicted Omar of conspiring to impede the IRS, stealing government funds by converting tax refunds, fraudulent use of debit cards, and aggravated identity theft.

United States Attorney Vaudreuil stated, “Tax refund fraud hurts the nation, and identity theft has a devastating effect on individual victims.  We will continue to prosecute these serious crimes.” 

Special Agent in Charge Shea Jones of IRS Criminal Investigation’s St. Paul Field Office stated, “Investigating refund fraud and identity theft is a priority for IRS Criminal Investigation.  Today’s convictions should serve as a strong warning that IRS Criminal Investigation, together with our partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, will see to it that identity thieves who steal from American taxpayers are brought to justice.”

U.S. District Judge James Peterson scheduled sentencing for August 13, 2015, at 11:00 a.m.  Omar faces a maximum federal prison sentence of:  five years on the conspiracy count; 10 years on each of the 11 counts of theft of government funds; 10 years on the count charging fraudulent use of an access device; and a mandatory sentence of two years on the aggravated identity theft charge, to be served consecutively to any other sentence.

The charges against Omar were the result of an investigation by IRS Criminal Investigation, and the U.S. Secret Service.  The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Grant Johnson and Stephen Sinnott. 

Updated July 14, 2015