Two separate cases out of Broward County, Florida highlight that if you submit lots of tax returns from the same address even the IRS will get suspicious. A former band director and another Floridian will be heading to ClubFed in separate identity theft cases.
In the first case, a former band director apparently used his position to steal 419 identities. From the DOJ press release:
According to court documents, IRS-CI investigators noticed that 419 suspicious tax returns claiming refunds totaling $754,470 were filed from Rogers’ residential address from January 25, 2014 to April 20, 2014. Based on this information, a search warrant was executed at Rogers’ residence and agents discovered and seized papers, notes, and documents containing thousands of PII (including names, dates of birth, and social security numbers) including PII contained in records of more than a dozen Broward County School District students, some dating back to the late 1990s and others into the late 2000s. Agents also seized numerous printed 2013 tax returns.
Delvis Rogers of Hollywood, Florida admitted when his apartment was searched (under a search warrant) that he had prepared and filed hundreds of phony tax returns from his apartment. Mr. Rogers pleaded guilty to two identity theft related charges. He received 61 months at ClubFed and agreed to make restitution to the IRS of $129,321.
In the second case, Keyiona Wright of Plantation, Florida pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. From the DOJ press release:
According to court documents, from March 25, 2014 to May 6, 2015, forty-six federal tax returns were filed with the IRS claiming refunds of $135,196 from an IP address in Plantation. From September 16, 2014 to May 5, 2015, at least 688 rejected federal tax returns, claiming refunds of $733,276, were electronically transmitted to the IRS from this same IP address. Agents confirmed that the IP address was assigned to an apartment rented by Wright.
A search warrant found notebooks, bags, documents, papers, and computers containing personal identification information. “A forensic analysis revealed that the documents, computers, and debit/credit cards seized from Wright’s residence contained identifying or account information for over 14,000 individuals.” And agents found another computer that had a video with Ms. Wright counting money. At least she didn’t post it on Facebook like the Queen of Tax Fraud.
In the end, Ms. Wright pled guilty. She’ll have plenty of time at ClubFed to think over her decisions; she was sentenced to 7 years.