Sometimes it is difficult to commit a crime alone. Co-conspirators are often needed to pull off fraudulent activity. The Montgomery Advertiser reports on a man who enlisted a variety of co-conspirators to commit identity theft and tax fraud.
The article states that over a two-year period, a Montgomery man obtained personal identification information from an Alabama state employee. He then used these identities to file more than 100 false tax returns requesting more than $400,000 in refunds.
In order to pull off the crime, he also recruited a bank employee to deposit the bogus refunds. (I wonder what her take was.) He then allegedly enlisted a few bank account holders who gave him permission to deposit the funds in their accounts. The agreement required the bank account holders to deliver the money to the fraudster.
The fraudster pleaded guilty defrauding the United Sates and aggravated identity theft. He is facing between two and 12 years in prison, three years supervised release, restitution and a maximum fine of $250,000. The bank employee pleaded guilty to her part in the crime and is awaiting sentencing.
It appears that criminals have friends in all kinds of places, whether state offices or just bank account holders. (And it always amazes me how criminals don’t seem to consider the outcomes of their criminal endeavors before they commit a crime.) It would behoove anyone who considers being an accomplice of a crime to think about the consequences of his or her actions. (Don’t give anyone permission to deposit suspect funds into your bank account.) The article doesn’t state what happened with the bank account holders, but if the allegations are true, I bet they are wishing they had thought twice before giving their permission.