Tampa woman sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison for fraud offenses


Date: March 22, 2023

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

U.S. District Judge William F. Jung has sentenced Kemi Lim-Tom to eight years and four months in federal prison for bank fraud, tax fraud, credit card fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Lim-Tom was ordered to pay $345,943.49 in restitution. She had pleaded guilty on July 26, 2022.

According to court documents, in February 2018, pursuant to a search warrant, officers from the Tampa Police Department found Lim-Tom and her coconspirator, Sonya Seago, in possession of more than 1,500 individuals' stolen personal identifying information. Subsequent investigation revealed that Lim-Tom used these identities to commit bank fraud, tax fraud, and credit card fraud.

According to court documents and evidence presented at the sentencing hearing, between 2012 and February 2018, Lim-Tom orchestrated a scheme to defraud financial institutions by manufacturing counterfeit checks with fraudulent company names and bank account numbers belonging to victim businesses and then cashing these checks for profit. Lim-Tom recruited and paid others to receive some of these checks and provide her with the proceeds. The face value of the fraudulent checks involved in the scheme was more than $600,000.

Between March 2013 and July 2014, Lim-Tom committed tax fraud by using stolen identities to obtain tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service. Lim-Tom obtained four fraudulent tax refunds totaling more than $27,000 and attempted to obtain an additional 56 refunds totaling more than $300,000.

Between January 2015 and February 2018, Lim-Tom and Seago used stolen personal identifying information to obtain fraudulent credit cards, which they used to make more than $215,000 in purchases.

On February 15, 2023, Sonya Seago (also of Tampa) was sentenced to 32 months in federal prison for her role in the fraud offenses.

"Greed is a strong motivator for illegal activity and these sentencings demonstrate our commitment to hold criminals accountable for their corrupt behavior," said IRS-CI Acting Special Agent in Charge Ronald A. Loecker. "These individuals demonstrated a blatant disregard for the United States tax system and caused immeasurable damage to innocent victims. IRS Criminal Investigation, along with our partners at the United States Secret Service, the Tampa Police Department, and the U.S. Attorney's Office, remains committed to the pursuit of identity theft and other related crimes."

This case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation, the United States Secret Service, and the Tampa Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jennifer L. Peresie and John Cannizzaro.