On November 13, 2023, in the Western District of Texas, Dillon Anozie pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
Beginning in January 2018, Anozie and others obtained the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of taxpayers and accountants, including addresses, where Anozie could receive mail and prepaid debit cards to which fraudulently claimed tax refunds could be directed. As part of the scheme, the conspirators prepared and filed fraudulent tax returns that used the PII of taxpayers. Anozie received identity verification letters from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to confirm the legitimacy of the filed tax returns that were addressed to taxpayers and sent to addresses he and others controlled. Once the IRS deposited refunds onto prepaid debit cards and bank accounts, Anozie used the prepaid debit cards to withdraw cash from ATMs and to purchase money orders, home renovation materials, and designer clothing from high-end retailers. Anozie provided some of the money orders to other conspirators and retained some money for himself.
Anozie took steps to conceal the fraudulent conduct by adding the names of taxpayers to apartment mailboxes when mail in the taxpayer’s name was expected, destroying the received IRS mail, and purchasing money orders using the prepaid debit cards in amounts lower than the stores’ purchaser reporting thresholds. In total, the conspirators filed approximately 371 fraudulent tax returns that claimed over $111 million of tax refunds from the IRS.
Source: The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: W.D. Tex. Plea Agr., filed Nov. 13, 2023; W.D. Tex. Recommendation filed Nov. 13, 2023; and W.D. Tex. Indict., filed Mar. 7, 2023