US Judge Hands Nigerian Bizman, Kunle Sodipo 6yr Jail Term Over $12m Tax Refunds Fraud
Kevin Kunle Sodipo Williams, a Nigerian living in St. Louis, Missouri has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison over a stolen identity fraud scheme that sought more than $12 million in tax refunds.
A U.S. federal judge on Friday also ordered him to pay roughly $900,000 in restitution to the IRS.
Williams was charged with mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, voter fraud and illegal re-entry to the U.S.
Williams and others used public school employees’ identifications stolen from a payroll company to file more than 2,000 fraudulent federal tax returns. Williams also used fraudulently obtained identification numbers to get refund checks.
Williams was deported in 1995 but returned in 1999. In July, Sodipo had pleaded guilty to the charge in an Alabama court.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Carrie Costantin for the Eastern District of Missouri, said Sodipo entered the guilty plea in a Federal court in Alabama.
According to documents filed with the court, Kevin Kunlay(Kunle) Williams aka Kunlay Sodipo, 56, and others stole public school employees’ IDs from a payroll company and used them to electronically file more than 2,000 fraudulent federal income tax returns seeking more than $12 million in refunds.
He also stole several return preparer’s Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs) and used them to secure tax-related bank products and services that facilitated the issuance of tax refunds, to include blank check stock and debit cards. Williams used the blank stock to print checks funded by the fraudulent refunds and directed some of the refunds onto debit cards.
Williams now faces a period of supervised release, restitution, forfeiture and deportation.