Woodland Hills brothers found guilty of fraudulently obtaining federal tax refunds and laundering proceeds through U.K. banks


Date: June 29, 2023

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Two San Fernando Valley brothers have been found guilty by a jury of nearly a dozen felonies for fraudulently obtaining hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal income tax refunds, some of which they then laundered through bank accounts held in the United Kingdom, the Justice Department announced today.

Victor A. Ohiri and Stephen O. Danielson-Ohiri, both of Woodland Hills, were found guilty late Wednesday of one count of conspiracy and 10 counts of theft of government property.

According to evidence presented at their two-day trial, from March 2014 to March 2015, Victor and Stephen Ohiri, together with others in the United Kingdom, conspired to use the Ohiris' U.S.-based bank accounts to fraudulently obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars of federal income tax refunds.

The co-conspirators filed nearly 20 fraudulent federal income tax returns with the IRS in the names of victim-taxpayers whose identities they had stolen. The co-conspirators used fake documents, such as bogus Forms W-2, to file the fraudulent returns, which requested large tax refunds, often between $8,000 and $10,000.

Based on the fraudulent returns, the IRS issued tax refunds, which were electronically transmitted not to the victim-taxpayers whose identities had been stolen, but instead to bank accounts controlled by Victor and Stephen Ohiri. The Ohiris then wired the majority of those refund proceeds to co-conspirators in the United Kingdom, and they withdrew the rest in cash for themselves.

During the conspiracy, approximately $340,000 in federal income tax refunds was deposited into accounts controlled by the Ohiris.

During the investigation, IRS investigators seized approximately $181,000 from two of Stephen Ohiri's bank accounts – money that came from just one of the fraudulently obtained tax refunds.

United States District Judge Stephen V. Wilson has scheduled an October 2 sentencing hearing, at which time Victor Ohiri and Stephen Ohiri will face statutory maximum sentences, respectively, of 115 years and 60 years in federal prison.

IRS Criminal Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations investigated this matter.

Assistant United States Attorney Morgan J. Cohen of the Major Frauds Section is prosecuting this case.