Income tax season is a big market for scammers. A U.S. District judge sentenced a Fort Lee man to six years in prison for using stolen military identifications to receive forged tax returns.
Shope Oluwo, 35, pleaded guilty to taking personal information from current and former members of the U.S. army, which he used to fabricate W-2s and other tax documents, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. Oluwo then submitted those documents to a tax preparation agency that provided him and his conspirator with falsified tax returns in the form of debit cards.
In addition to his prison sentence, Oluwo was ordered to pay $11,170 in restitution to AT&T for the fraud, though authorities caught him before he could receive any of the attempted $70,413 in phony returns, stated Matthew Reilly, spokesperson to the attorney's office.
Previously, he was indicted on one count of wire fraud, device fraud and aggravated identity theft.
One co-defendant in the case, Dermot Sutherland, 30, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty to his part in the scam and was sentenced last year to three years of probation.