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February 16, 2024

Man Sentenced for his Role in Nationwide Internal Revenue Service Impersonation Scheme

On January 8, 2024, in the Western District of Pennsylvania, Ronnell Taylor, Jr., was sentenced to 33 months of imprisonment for wire fraud conspiracy. Taylor was additionally sentenced to two years of supervised release, ordered to pay a $1,500 fine, and ordered to pay $193,111 in restitution.

According to a Department of Justice press release, from March 2016 to August 2017, Taylor participated in an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) impersonation fraud conspiracy involving call centers in India. As part of this fraud, victims in the United States received messages claiming that the call was from the IRS, concerning the victims’ failure to pay taxes and directing victims to call a U.S.-based telephone number to resolve the matter. Calls to these U.S.-based telephone numbers would be automatically forwarded to call centers in India. Those who answered told victims that they owed money to the IRS and demanded immediate payment via gift card or other means. 
Taylor activated and programmed cell phones to automatically forward calls to the foreign call centers. Taylor also hired associates to program hundreds of cell phones for this purpose. After Taylor learned that co-conspirators in India had been charged with conduct related to the fraud, he destroyed evidence related to the scheme, including prepaid credit cards, cell phones, and other documents.

Source: The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: W.D. Pa. Judgement filed Jan. 11, 2024; and DOJ press release dated Jan. 8, 2024