Sawyer County Man Pleads Guilty In Stolen Identity Tax Return Fraud
Madison, Wis. - John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Jason T. Procknow, 40, Exeland, Wis., pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Madison to theft of funds from the U.S. Treasury and aggravated identity theft for his scheme to file false tax returns and demand tax refunds using the stolen identities of other individuals.
As described by the Assistant U.S. Attorney at the plea hearing, Procknow’s conduct involved sending blank forms to prison inmates throughout the country, promising them assistance with their own legal difficulties. The forms required the inmates to provide personal identifying information, including social security numbers. Procknow then used the identity and social security numbers of the inmates to file fraudulent tax returns, directing the tax refunds to be directly deposited to his personal bank account.
U.S. District Judge William M. Conley scheduled sentencing for February 13, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. Procknow faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine, and will be required to pay immediate restitution to the United States in connection with the theft of government funds. In addition, due to the aggravated identity theft, committed by using the identifying information of another person to commit the felony theft of government funds, he will also face a mandatory two-year sentence, consecutive to any time imposed for the theft of funds.
U.S. Attorney Vaudreuil praised the law enforcement efforts in this complex investigation and said, “This case was successfully investigated and prosecuted because of the exceptional cooperation between federal and local law enforcement.”
“Today’s guilty plea by Procknow exemplifies the IRS’s intense focus on the pursuit of identity thieves who victimize our tax system, “said Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation office in Madison. “These are serious financial crimes for which we continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute those responsible.”
The charges against Jason T. Procknow were the result of an investigation conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Eagan, Minn. Police Department. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Anderson.