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ID Thieves Claimed $111M in Refunds

Fraud signA group that used stolen identities of accountants and taxpayers filed at least 371 bogus returns that claimed $111 million in tax refunds, the Justice Department has charged. Six individuals, lead by Abraham Yusuff, of Round Rock, Texas,  re accused of conducting the scheme from 2016 through 2019.

Yusuff was charged with recruiting and directing Meghan Inyang of San Antonio, Christopher Eduardo of Round Rock, Christian Mathurin of Nashville, Tenn., along with three other Texans, Dillon Anozie of San Antonio, Babajide Ogunbanjo of Austin, and Aydin Mammadov of Houston, In convicted of all crimes, the  individuals more than to 40 years in prison.

The group is accused of providing addresses to Yusuff, who along with others, registered with the Internal Revenue Service allegedly posing as authorized agents of multiple taxpayers using stolen information relating to the taxpayers and their real tax preparers.

They allegedly directed the IRS to change addresses that were on file for taxpayers, and then send information including account transcripts and wage records, to the addresses controlled by the conspirators.

The information was used to efile returns with the IRS instructed to split refunds among several prepaid debit cards. When the IRS sent verification letters to the conspirators’ addresses, they and others then allegedly pretended to be the taxpayers and authorized the refunds.

Refunds were deposited onto the prepaid debit cards with the funds then laundered with the conspirators purchasing, among other things, money orders from local stores in amounts low enough to avoid reporting thresholds. 

The indictment alleges several crimes were committed by the defendants including mail and wire fraud, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, money laundering and access device fraud.

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
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