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56-member crime ring apprehended by multiple agencies in Georgia

The IRS’s Top Ten Identity Theft Prosecutions of 2015

Who

Stacy Williams, age 42

Where

Statesboro, Georgia

What he did

Participated in a large-scale identity theft and tax fraud scheme.

How he did it

Stacy Williams was a participant in a 56-member crime ring. Like all other identity theft-tax fraud operations, theirs involved obtaining personal identifying information (names, social security numbers and dates of birth) and then preparing and filing false tax returns in order to collect tax refunds for their personal use. What was unique about this case was the sheer magnitude of the operation and the government’s efforts to apprehend all of those involved. The 15 members of the Claxton branch of the tax fraud ring alone were apprehended by the IRS Criminal Investigations Division, Statesboro Police Department, Claxton Police Department, Swainsboro Police Department, Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office, Evans County Sheriff’s Office, United States Marshals Service, Georgia State Patrol and Georgia State Probation Office.

The charges

Williams was charged in April of 2014 and convicted on September 30, 2014 of the following:

The sentence

Williams was sentenced on June 23, 2015 to 94 months in prison and three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $84,940. William’s co-conspirators were all sentenced to between 5 months’ probation and 126 months in prison.

Identity Theft Defense Attorneys in San Francisco

The tax attorneys at Moskowitz, LLP have extensive experience defending individuals charged with identity theft and related monetary crimes. If you are in trouble with the law, contact our office for a consultation.

Tax Refund and Mortgage Fraud Scheme Uncovered in New Jersey

The IRS’s Top Ten Identity Theft Prosecutions of 2015

Who

Julio C. Concepcion, age 50, his two sons, and two others

Where

New Jersey

What they did

Stolen identity refund fraud and mortgage fraud conspiracy using the identities of Puerto Rico residents, among others.

How they did it

From around October 2009 through May 2013, Julio C. Concepcion, his sons Angel L. Concepcion-Vasquez and Julio Concepcion-Vasquez, Jose Zapata and Romy Quezada, used the social security numbers and other personal identification information of people living in Puerto Rico to create false W-2s, file false tax returns, and collect bogus tax refunds. Puerto Rican social security numbers are a prime target for identity theft and tax refund fraud because its residents are not required to file tax returns or pay U.S. income tax unless they work for a U.S. company or for the federal government.

Concepcion and his co-conspirators deposited more than 350 fraudulently-obtained tax refund checks totaling an estimated $2.5 million into bank accounts held by 10 shell companies that they controlled. Between $75,000 and $725,000 was deposited into each company account. Funds were also transferred to their families and friends, who were provided with fake IDs, including social security cards and driver’s licenses, so that they could open accounts to deposit the fraudulently-obtained checks. Some of the fake checks were mailed to a New York City address which had at various times served as a homeless shelter and youth hostel. Other checks were mailed to a housing development in Fort Myers, Florida.

From January 2008 through March 2010, Concepcion and his co-conspirators also ran a mortgage fraud scam. They enabled a number of people to commit mortgage fraud by helping them purchase homes and obtain mortgages through false documents and misrepresentations. The Federal Housing Administration (which insured some of the mortgages) and other parties (that approved the mortgages) lost over $2.5 million as a result of the scheme.

Concepcion was caught following a detailed investigation, which uncovered: (1) many cases of two or more W-2 forms having been filed in a single year for the same individual, with workplaces and home addresses hundreds or thousands of miles apart; (2) multiple treasury checks issued to the same address or neighborhood, to names that did not match those of the building’s or area’s residents; (3) multiple checks deposited into numerous bank accounts, all of which were opened by companies owned by the same person; and (4) surveillance cameras showing Concepcion and his accomplices depositing multiple tax refund checks totaling thousands of dollars, and withdrawing the funds within a short time frame.

Note that Concepcion had no prior criminal record and promptly admitted to his guilt following his arrest. He issued a public apology prior to sentencing, stating "I apologize to the United States and to all of my family."

The charges

The sentences

On June 25, 2015, the conspirators were sentenced as follows:

  • Concepcion was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $5,643,695 in restitution.
  • Concepcion’s sons Angel and Julio were each sentenced to 16 months in prison.
  • Co-conspirator Jose Zapata was sentenced to three years’ probation.
  • Romy Quezada was sentenced to two years’ probation.

Criminal Tax Defense Attorneys

If you are under investigation by the federal government for a tax crime, contact the experienced criminal tax defense attorneys at Moskowitz, LLP today.