Federal judges in two Southern states recently handed down multi-year prison sentences to identity thieves for claiming false tax returns to the tune of almost $7 million.
Stolen Prisoner IDs Used for $5.5M Tax Scheme
Bradford Thomas was sentenced this month to more than 10 years in prison for filing more than 1,200 fraudulent tax returns using identities he stole from prison inmates, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Prosecutors say Thomas claimed more than $5.5 million in false returns and actually received more than $1.6 million from the tax scheme. The judge ordered him to repay the stolen money as well as surrender the cash, weapons, jewelry and nearly a dozen luxury vehicles authorities discovered at his Atlanta-area home and business.
“This defendant used the stolen identities of prisoners to steal millions of taxpayer dollars and enrich his own lifestyle,” U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a news release. “This case exemplifies our continuing efforts to combat identity-theft schemes designed to steal tax dollars, which have grown to disturbing levels.”
Alabama Family Headed to Prison for Tax Fraud
An Alabama family will be imprisoned for using stolen identities to file for $400,000 in fraudulent tax returns, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Christian and Mary Young, along with Mary's son Octavious Reeves, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and aggravated identity theft. In addition to sentences ranging from four to seven years, the judge ordered them to repay the stolen funds.
The Youngs used most of the money to gamble and lost nearly $200,000 in Alabama casinos between 2010 and 2012, the Montgomery Advisor reports.
All three defendants’ prison sentences will be followed by three years of supervised release.
Final Defendants Sentenced in 13-Member Georgia ID Theft Ring
The last two defendants in a 13-member stolen identity and tax fraud scheme have been sentenced to more than six years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Tadaesha Taylor and Gregory Smith, along with 11 others who were previously sentenced, used stolen identities to file false tax returns for more than $1 million in Statesboro, Georgia.
"In the midst of another tax season, cases like these demonstrate the substantial risks to the millions of honest tax filers of having their personal information stolen and fraudulently used," U.S. Attorney Edward J. Tarver said in a news release.