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December 13, 2022

Jury Convicts Leader of Worldwide Tax Return Scheme

On October 27, 2022, in the Northern District of West Virginia, Ayodele Arasokun was convicted by a jury on twenty-one counts of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to the court documents, from January 2016 and continuing to November 2017, Arasokun devised a scheme to unlawfully obtain tax refund money by filing fraudulent Federal income tax returns. Arasokun collected the names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers for multiple individuals. Using this information, Arasokun compromised the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS), Electronic Filing Pin application, an online electronic portal. Arasokun then electronically filed and attempted to file fraudulent Federal income tax returns. These fraudulent Federal income tax returns contained fictitious income amounts, withholdings, and other false information. He then directed tax refunds to be deposited into prepaid debit cards and bank accounts that he monitored. Investigators discovered that Arasokun was tracking approximately 700 U.S.-based accounts containing more than $50 million. Of the $9.1 million claimed by Arasokun in false Federal income tax returns, the IRS ultimately paid out $2.2 million in fraudulently obtained refunds.  Arasokun was ultimately convicted by jury of 21 counts of wire fraud and 10 counts of aggravated identity theft.

Arasokun is incarcerated at the Eastern Regional Jail in Martinsburg, West Virginia where he will remain until sentencing. His punishment will be based upon the amount of loss, his prior criminal history, and the penalties called for by statute.

Source:  The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: N.D.W. Va., Verdict Form, filed Oct. 27, 2022; N.D.W. Va., Indict. filed Nov. 21, 2017; and Department of Justice press release dated Oct. 28, 2022.