Tax Fraud Schemes Target Prisoners and Job Seekers

Man Accused of Defrauding Thousands of Prisoners

An Atlanta man accused of using prisoners' personal information to steal more than $12 million with fraudulent tax returns was indicted on more than 30 counts of violating various federal laws, the Department of Justice said in a news release.

Qadir Shabazz, 38, had his first court appearance January 2 on federal charges of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and theft of government funds. 

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Shabazz operated a nationwide scheme from November 2009 through May 2012 to file thousands of false and fraudulent federal income tax returns that claimed millions of dollars in fraudulent refunds, U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in the release.

In Georgia, Shabazz and his conspirators allegedly ran a business dubbed "Indigent Inmate," which told prisoners they would be eligible for benefit programs if they submitted applications that included their names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers. Shabazz, and others working with him, are accused of using that personal information to file the false federal income tax returns and collect more than $12 million in fraudulent refunds.

Ohio Man Imprisoned for Tax Fraud, Identity Theft

A 42-year-old Ohio man has been sentenced to 16 months in prison for identity theft and filing false claims with the IRS, according to the Dayton Daily News.

Hiszan Blackford and his conspirators stole the identities of at least 25 people and filed 37 false tax returns, resulting in $80,478 in false refund claims, according to a news release from the IRS Cincinnati office.

A federal judge sentenced Blackford on January 3 to 16 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $80,478 in restitution to the IRS.

Court documents indicate Blackford gave people employment application forms to get their names, addresses, dates of birth and social security numbers. He then filed fraudulent tax returns using the stolen identities, according to the release.

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