Phenix City man indicted for alleged $19M stolen identity fraud - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Phenix City man indicted for alleged $19M stolen identity fraud scheme

(Source: AP Images) (Source: AP Images)

(WTVM) -  A Phenix City man was arrested Wednesday after being indicted by a federal grand jury in an alleged $19 million stolen identity refund fraud scheme.

According to the indictment, between Nov.  2010 and Dec. 2013, William Anthony Gosha III, also known as  Boo Boo, and his co-conspirators used stolen ID's to file over 7,000 tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seeking more than $19 million in fraudulent refunds. 

The indictment alleges that Gosha obtained ID’s of inmates from the Alabama Department of Corrections and that his co-conspirators obtained ID’s from multiple sources, including an Alabama state agency. 

Gosha and his co-conspirators also allegedly obtained several Electronic Filing Identification Numbers in the names of sham tax preparation businesses in order to file the fraudulent returns and apply for tax refund-related bank products from financial institutions. 

The indictment alleges that Gosha and his co-conspirators directed the IRS to issue the refunds to prepaid debit cards, U.S. treasury checks, and financial institutions.

 Gosha and his co-conspirators allegedly recruited U.S. Postal Service employees to provide addresses on their mail routes to which the fraudulently obtained refund checks could be sent. 

According to the indictment, Gosha and his co-conspirators cashed the refund checks at several businesses in Alabama and Georgia. 

If convicted, Gosha faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the conspiracy count, a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count of wire and mail fraud, and a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison for each count of aggravated identity theft. 

He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, forfeiture and monetary penalties.

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