A Virginia man was sentenced to 47 months in prison on Wednesday (July 6) by a federal district court for his role in a massive identity fraud scheme.
Bradley King of Fredericksburg, Virginia, is just one of nearly 20 people who have pled guilty to participating in the scheme, which sought to steal more than $1.5 million in income tax refunds by filing fraudulent returns.
Court documents confirm that the overall case involves the filing of at least 12,000 fraudulent federal income tax returns in order to obtain roughly $42 million in total funds. A statement from the U.S. Department of Justice states that King pled guilty to one count of of conspiracy to defraud the federal government, one count of theft of public money and one count of aiding and abetting in fraud.
In addition to his prison term, King is required to pay $493,436 in restitution to the IRS and a forfeiture money judgment of $5,400. After his sentence is complete, King will be placed on supervised release for three years.
The government’s evidence against King shows that he began participating in the sophisticated stolen identity scheme back in 2008, where he joined the extensive network of more than 130 people who were also involved.
In many cases, tax returns were filed for the stolen identities of people who were drug addicts, residents of assisted living facilities, incarcerated prisoners, willing participants and the elderly.
It’s believed that King was responsible for roughly 444 fraudulent returns, seeking more than $1.5 million and a total loss of approximately $493,436 to the U.S. Treasury.
Earlier this year, the DOJ issued a serious warning to the public about the looming threats of fraudulent tax return processors and tax scheme promoters.
While the agency noted that individuals must be held responsible for the contents of their own returns, Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo still had some cautionary advice.
“Every year, thousands of federal income tax returns are prepared by people who care much more about making a quick buck than about preparing accurate returns,” Ciraolo explained, noting that, while most tax return preparers are honest, there are many out there looking to take advantage of taxpayers.