According to the indictment, announced today by Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney George L. Beck Jr. for the Middle District of Alabama, the defendants obtained Electronic Filing Numbers in the names of several tax preparation businesses. The defendants applied for bank products from various financial institutions, which mailed blank check stock to the defendants’ homes.
The defendants are accused of directing anticipated tax refunds to prepaid debit cards, to U.S. Treasury checks and to financial institutions, which in turn issued the refunds via checks or prepaid debit cards. The defendants directed U.S. Treasury checks to be mailed to several addresses in Alabama and then obtained those checks from the mail, according to the indictment. The defendants coordinated the cashing of the refund checks by sending various text messages among themselves, the indictment said. The defendants are accused of cashing the fraudulent checks at several businesses located in Georgia, Alabama and Kentucky. In addition to the conspiracy charge, the defendants are also charged with mail and wire fraud, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.