District Government Youth Services Employee Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Role in Massive Identity Theft and Tax Fraud Scheme

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District Government Youth Services Employee Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Role in Massive Identity Theft and Tax Fraud Scheme

 

The Barbershop Gang Stole Identities from D.C. Government Agency for eight years for Use in Filing False Tax Returns for Filers Told to get ‘Obama Stimulus Money’

 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Federal prosecutors report that Marc A. Bell, of Bowie, Maryland, was sentenced on May 4, 2016, to four years in prison after pleading guilty in January for his involvement in a far-reaching identity theft and tax fraud scheme in which he assisted in the filing of fraudulent federal income tax returns seeking more than $4.4 million in refunds, announced U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips, Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, Special Agent in Charge Thomas Jankowski of Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Inspector in Charge Maria L. Kelokates of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Washington Division and Assistant Inspector General for Investigations John L. Phillips of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

the scheme involved the filing of at least 12,000 fraudulent federal income tax returns that sought refunds of at least $42 million from the U.S. Treasury

Marc A. Bell, 49, a former employee of the District of Columbia’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS), admitted taking part in a massive and sophisticated identity theft and false tax return scheme that involved an extensive network of more than 130 people, many of whom were receiving public assistance.  According to court documents, the scheme involved the filing of at least 12,000 fraudulent federal income tax returns that sought refunds of at least $42 million from the U.S. Treasury.  The false tax returns sought refunds for tax years 2005 through 2013 and were often filed in the names of people whose identities had been stolen, including the elderly, people in assisted living facilities, drug addicts, and incarcerated individuals.  Refunds also were sent to people who were willing participants in the scheme.  The refunds listed more than 400 “taxpayer” addresses located in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

According to documents filed with the court, from 2005 to 2013, Bell was employed as a program manager, program officer or placement expeditor at the District of Columbia’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS).  The agency is responsible for the supervision, custody and care of young people charged with a delinquent act in the District of Columbia and either detained in a DYRS facility while awaiting adjudication or committed to DYRS by a District of Columbia Family Court judge following adjudication.  In his various capacities at DYRS, Bell had access to the agency’s database system, which contained the personal identifying information of DYRS youth, including their names and social security numbers.  Bell admitted that between approximately May 2010 and April 2013, he used his computer access to obtain the personal identifying information of at least 645 then-current and former DYRS youth.  Bell admitted that he provided this information to other scheme participants, who used the names and social security numbers to file at least 1,160 fraudulent federal income tax returns that claimed refunds of approximately $4,441,194.  The IRS issued approximately 700 U.S. Treasury checks, totaling approximately $2,422,211, in the names of the DYRS youth in whose names the tax returns were filed.  Bell received financial compensation from co-conspirators for providing the stolen identities.

Prosecutors say that Bell is one of approximately 20 participants in this scheme who have pleaded guilty to federal charges in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  Bell pleaded guilty in January to one count of conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims, one count of aiding and abetting in the filing of fictitious or false claims and one count aiding and abetting fraud and related activity in connection with identification documents.  In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Ellen S. Huvelle ordered Bell to serve three years of supervised release and pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $1,972,710. 

On May 4, 2016, Federal prosecutors report that Lakisha Jackson, 40, of District Heights, Maryland, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft of public money for her role in the scheme.  As part of her plea, she admitted that between September 2010 and May 2012 she allowed her residential address to be used to file approximately 70 fraudulent federal income tax returns seeking refunds of approximately $229,199 and to receive 61 fraudulently-procured U.S. Treasury checks totaling approximately $193,977.  Jackson faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  She has agreed to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $175,953.  Jackson is scheduled to be sentenced on July 13, 2016.

Anacostia Barber admits to being mastermind of massive fraud of the IRS – filers were told they were owed ‘Obama Stimulus Money’

WASHINGTON – Kevin Brown, 42, of Capitol Heights, Md., pled guilty in 2013 to federal charges stemming from his role as a key organizer and leader of an identity theft and tax fraud scheme involving the filing of returns seeking more than $20 million in fraudulent refunds.

According to evidence presented to the Court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri L. Schornstein, the defendant was among participants in a massive identity theft and false tax refund scheme involving an extensive network of more than 100 people, many of whom were receiving public assistance. It also involves bank tellers and postal carriers. From 2006 to date, they caused the filing of at least 7,000 fraudulent federal income tax returns seeking more than $20 million in refunds. The case remains under investigation. 

      Brown pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count each of conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims; making false, fictitious or fraudulent claims for a tax refund, and fraud and related activity in connection with identification information (identity theft). The guilty plea was entered before the Honorable Magistrate Judge Alan Kay. The defendant will be sentenced at a later date by the Honorable Ellen S. Huvelle.

      The conspiracy charge carries a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison. The false claims charge carries a statutory maximum of five years in prison, and the identity fraud charge carries up to 15 years. The charges also carry potential fines. Under federal sentencing guidelines, the parties have agreed that the likely range is a prison sentence of up to 14 years and a fine of up to $175,000.

      The government has seized and administratively forfeited from Kevin Brown a 2007 Range Rover and more than $100,000 in cash and bank accounts.

      “The scope of the identity theft conspiracy revealed by today’s guilty plea is staggering: more than one hundred participants schemed to file more than 7,000 bogus tax returns seeking to rip off $20 million from U.S. taxpayers,” said U.S. Attorney Machen.  “These conspirators filed fake tax returns in the names of dead people, grandparents in assisted living facilities, drug addicts, and prisoners.  Today one of the masterminds behind this criminal plot took responsibility for his role, but this investigation is not over.”

      “IRS Criminal Investigation takes particular interest in cases where individuals, for their own personal benefit, use deceit and fraud to line their pockets,” said Special Agent in Charge Kelly. “The illegal activity detailed in the indictment has had a negative and long-lasting impact on the community. Honest and law-abiding citizens are fed up with the likes of those motivated merely by greed. Identify theft is a loathsome, despicable crime that victimizes honest Americans and causes immense hardship to those individuals whose identities were stolen. This plea should serve as a warning to those who are considering similar conduct.”

     the refunds were sought in the names of people whose identities had been stolen, including the elderly, people in assisted living facilities, drug addicts, and incarcerated prisoners.

According to the government’s evidence, in this case, the refunds were sought in the names of people whose identities had been stolen, including the elderly, people in assisted living facilities, drug addicts, and incarcerated prisoners. At one nursing home alone, at least 14 identities were stolen, including five from people who were deceased at the time tax returns were filed in their names. Some people sold their identifying information. Some victims unwittingly turned over their identifying information after being told that they were due an income tax refund or were entitled to some “Obama Stimulus Money.”

      The government’s evidence showed that participants in the schemes had various roles: some stole the identifying information; some permitted their personal identifying information to be used; some created and mailed the fraudulent federal tax returns; some permitted their addresses to be used for receipt of the refund checks. Some helped cash the checks; some provided bank accounts for negotiation of checks, and some forged endorsements of identity theft victims on the refund checks.

      The false returns typically claimed that the “taxpayer” operated a sole proprietorship, such as a barber, claimed phony dependents, and then reported income that was sufficient to generate tax refunds based on the Earned Income Tax Credit, a refundable federal income tax credit for working families with low to moderate incomes.

      According to the government’s evidence, Brown was a key organizer and leader of the scheme and recruited others to join in the illegal activities. Brown, who owned Classic Kutz, a barbershop in the 3200 block of 22nd Street SE, Washington, D.C., sometimes listed that establishment as the business name on the fraudulent returns. Among other things, he prepared fraudulent returns, mailed them, endorsed refund checks, and deposited funds.

BARBER OUTWITTED THE IRS FOR YEARS - Stole millions: Kevin Brown admitted his role in tax return ID theft scheme

BARBER OUTWITTED THE IRS FOR YEARS – Stole millions: Kevin Brown admitted his role in tax return ID theft scheme

MEET KEVIN BROWN

(FROM the website for his business, CLASSIC KUTZ)
Born and raised in the Nation’s Capital, Kevin is an Innovative, Trendsetting Visionary. From early on in his life excelled in the art form of Barbering becoming a clever Master Barber & Business Owner. Kevin received his training and skill set from Chamberlain Vocational School in Washington, D.C., the same school his mother, Pamela Brown, graduated from. Even as a teenage mother attending Chamberlain, Ms. Brown instilled the same values in her twin sons, Kevin, and Kenn, where they have carried on the legacy of being remarkable leaders in the community.

“History has its way of repeating Itself”

Kevin has an incredible imagination for Art, Fashion, and Business. His vision for Classic Kutz and his business is far greater than what people can imagine or see. He discovered early in life that in order to be successful you have to be willing to do the things others won’t do. Kevin has displayed humility and kindness throughout his life in order become successful in all areas.

Kevin’s philosophy is to invest in yourself now within a short amount of time instead of having colleges or universities dictate your debt.

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