Nevada fraudster sentenced to more than five years in prison for role in scheme to file false tax returns using stolen identities

 

Date: March 4, 2020

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

A Las Vegas resident was sentenced to 65 months in prison today for his role in a stolen identity tax fraud.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Josiah Ntekume engaged in a scheme to file false tax returns using stolen identities in order to obtain tax refunds. Coconspirators provided Ntekume with names, addresses, dates of birth, and social security numbers, and Ntekume used these stolen identities to establish prepaid debit card accounts. The coconspirators then caused refunds fraudulently obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to be deposited into those accounts.

When Ntekume was arrested on March 13, 2012, he had in his backpack approximately 250 prepaid debit cards in the names of other individuals, on which more than more than $200,000 in fraudulent refunds had been loaded. The backpack also contained stolen identities for nearly 200 other individuals that were used either to file false returns or to establish additional prepaid debit cards.

On Dec. 4, 2019, Ntekume pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, theft of government property, and fraud in connection with access devices.

In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan ordered Ntekume to serve three years of supervised release and to pay approximately $221,599 in restitution to the United States.

Special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation, and Tax Division Trial Attorneys Thomas W. Flynn, Stephen K. Moulton, and Arthur Ewenczyk are prosecuting the case.