Date: January 10, 2022 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Orlando, FL — U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. today sentenced Michael Dexter Little to 19 years and 6 months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and aggravated identity theft. The Court also ordered Little to forfeit at least $12.3 million, which are traceable to proceeds of the offense. Little had pleaded guilty on October 20, 2021. According to court documents, from 2019 to 2021, Little filed a series of false tax returns claiming massive, bogus fuel tax credits. He filed the false returns in his own name and in the names of co-conspirators and identity theft victims. As a result of this scheme, Little and his co-conspirators obtained at least $12.3 million in fraudulent tax refunds and attempted to obtain at least $27 million more. Little and his co-conspirators also conspired to launder their ill-gotten gains and used significant portions of the fraudulent tax refunds to purchase real estate and other assets. Little was previously convicted of tax fraud twice, in 1999 and 2003. "Identity theft schemes often leave their victim's financial lives in ruin," said IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Brian Payne. "These crimes are a high priority for IRS-CI, especially when the stolen identities are used to file false tax returns. Today's sentencing makes it clear that we will vigorously pursue those who steal personally identifiable information and use it to undermine the integrity of the U.S. tax system." This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Emily C. L. Chang.