A Florida man was sentenced to five years and one month in federal prison for committing stolen identity refund fraud.
James Earl Smiley, 41, of Tampa, Florida, pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property and one count of aggravated identity theft.
He also agreed to forfeit $98,719.65, which represented the proceeds of his refund fraud offense.
According to court records, in October 2012, the Tampa Police Department stopped Smiley, who had several TurboTax Visa debit cards and receipts in his possession. The debit cards were not in Smiley’s name, or in the name of his passenger. Further investigation revealed that the debit cards were funded with fraudulent tax return proceeds.
On numerous occasions, Smiley was captured on video surveillance using the fraudulent debit cards. He admitted that the cards contained proceeds from fraudulently filed tax returns.
None of the victims, including deceased individuals and others whose names appeared on the debit cards, had given Smiley or his passenger the authority to use their identities.
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