Gwinnett man stole identities to file fake tax returns, feds say

A Lawrenceville man has been sentenced to federal prison for taking part in an identity fraud scheme that used victims’ information to file fraudulent tax returns, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Abdulrahman Tijani, 41, pleaded guilty to charges of theft of public money, aggravated identity theft and making a false statement on an immigration application on March 30. He was sentenced to four years in prison and three years of supervised release on Aug. 13. 

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Tijani was part of a group that stole victims’ Social Security numbers and personal information, like birthdays, in order to file tax returns on their behalf and collect the money, the Justice Department said. The group filed 47 fraudulent tax returns, receiving $265,960 in refunds that should have gone to victims. Once the money was obtained, Tijani directed it to different bank accounts and debit cards. 

Tijani used some of the money gained through this scam to pay for his federal immigration fees, the Justice Department said. While using stolen funds on an application, he marked “no” when asked if he had ever committed a “crime of moral turpitude” without being arrested, the Justice Department said. The department did not indicate what country Tijani had emigrated from. 

In addition to prison time, Tijani must pay $50,221 in restitution. 

The other members of the group were not identified by the Justice Department.

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