By Andrew Selsky
(SALEM, Ore.) — A Nigerian man has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison for his role in the bilking of over $11 million via an identity-theft scheme from the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Attorney’s office for Oregon said Tuesday.
An IRS agent has said this is one of the largest tax fraud cases in the United States in which stolen personal identification information was used to defraud the IRS, First Assistant U.S. Attorney for Oregon Scott Erik Asphaug told The Associated Press in an email. Its scope is staggering.
An IRS criminal investigation determined the co-conspirators obtained personal identifying information of more than 259,000 people, and used it to acquire over 19,500 electronic filing PINs from the IRS, the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a statement. The co-conspirators obtained and used pre-paid debit cards with the stolen identities to receive direct electronic tax refund deposits. They eventually filed over 10,000 fraudulent federal tax returns, attempting to obtain over $91 million in refunds, with actual losses amounting to over $11 million…