Alabama man pleads guilty to involvement in identity theft scheme
From: The Department of Justice;
Harvey James pleaded guilty to one
count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft for his role in
a Stolen Identity Refund Fraud ("SIRF") scheme,
announced Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally of the Justice
Department's Tax Division and U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama
George L. Beck Jr.
According to court
documents and court proceedings, Harvey James obtained stolen identities from
individuals who had access to inmate information from the Alabama Department of
Corrections. For several years, James, his sister, Jacqueline Slaton, and
others used those inmate names to file false federal and state tax returns.
James and Slaton directed some of the false refunds to be sent to either
prepaid debit cards or issued via check. In 2012, James and Slaton
enlisted the assistance of U.S. Postal Service mail carrier Vernon Harrison in
the scheme. Harrison, who provided James and his co-conspirators with
mailing addresses to which they could mail debit cards, retrieved the debit
cards from the mail and delivered them to James and his co-conspirators.
In exchange, Harrison received substantial payments. Between 2010 and
2012, James and his co-conspirators filed hundreds of federal and state income
tax returns that claimed over $1,000,000 in fraudulent tax refunds.
Sentencing has not yet been
scheduled. James faces a minimum sentence of two years in prison and a
maximum sentence of twenty-two years in prison, along with three years of
supervised release, restitution and a maximum fine of $250,000. Slaton has
already pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 70 months in
prison. In July 2013, Harrison was found guilty by a jury for his role in
the scheme. Harrison will be sentenced on Oct. 31, 2013.
The case was investigated by
Special Agents of the IRS - Criminal Investigation. Trial Attorneys Jason
H. Poole and Michael Boteler of the Justice Department's Tax Division and
Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Brown are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the
Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found at www.justice.gov/tax.