Identity thefts netted over US$10 million dollars
“In total, Watts filed more than 470 false federal tax returns claiming refunds in excess of $120 million and caused the IRS to issue refunds totaling more than $10 million, the indictment alleges.”
Filed Income Tax Returns in the names of dead persons
“While all taxpayers are victims when criminals file false tax returns using stolen identities, those who falsely use the names of deceased individuals add to the grief and burdens of their families,”
… Kathryn Keneally, Assistant Attorney General, Tax Division
Andrew Watts filed false tax returns seeking over $120 million in fraudulent refunds
Andrew J. Watts, a Barbados national, was sentenced in Chicago by U.S. District Judge Joan Gottschall to 114 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of just under $1.7 million for devising and executing a stolen identity federal income tax refund fraud scheme, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today.
According to court documents, between 2007 and 2011, Watts filed false federal income tax returns in the names of deceased taxpayers seeking fraudulent refunds. Watts either signed the name of the deceased taxpayer to the tax return, or would falsely list himself as the deceased taxpayer’s representative. As part of the scheme, Watts filed over 470 false federal income tax returns, claiming fraudulent refunds in excess of $120 million, and the IRS issued refunds in excess of $10 million. Watts directed the IRS to either mail the refund checks to an address he controlled or to electronically deposit the refund into a bank account under his control. Continue reading