A federal jury has found Mauricio Warner, 38, of Smyrna, guilty of using the identities of thousands of unsuspecting individuals to file federal tax returns claiming over $5 million in bogus refunds.
to United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, the charges and other information
presented in court: From approximately January
2011 to April 2012, Warner filed more than 5,000 false tax returns using the
names and Social Security numbers of unsuspecting victims.
Victims were told they could submit an application for an “Obama stimulus payment” or “Free Government Money” by providing their names and Social Security numbers. In addition to word-of-mouth marketing, Warner used toll-free telephone numbers to collect victims’ personal identifying information.
He then used the victims’ names and Social Security numbers to claim millions of dollars in fraudulent refunds. On the returns, Warner claimed false income amounts and student credits to generate the bogus tax refunds, and directed the IRS to pay the refund amounts to bank accounts he controlled. The victims did not know tax returns were being filed in their names.
The United States has seized seven bank accounts controlled by Warner that contain $4,185,455.31 in funds derived from or involved in this scheme.
Warner was convicted on 16 counts of wire fraud, 16 counts of aggravated identity theft, 16 counts of filing false claims, and two counts of money laundering. He was taken into custody after the verdict. The United States is also seeking the forfeiture of all funds derived from or involved in this scheme.
“This verdict represents yet another conviction in a series of recent cases involving identity thieves who use the personal information of unsuspecting victims to file bogus tax returns and steal millions of dollars from the U.S. Treasury,” said Yates in a news release. “We will continue to do all we can to stop these schemes and protect our citizens identities from theft.”
Sentencing for Warner is scheduled for June 25 at 2:00 p.m. before United States District Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.