Federal agents take down more suspects in a shocking identity and tax fraud case. These are the latest arrests as part of a three-year investigation into federal fraud in Bulloch and nearby counties.More >>
Federal agents take down more suspects in a shocking identity and tax fraud case. These are the latest arrests as part of a three-year investigation into federal fraud in Bulloch and nearby counties. More >>
STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) -
Fifteen more people were charged in a large identity theft and tax fraud case in the Statesboro area.
There are 56 defendants who are charged in connection with using stolen identities to submit income tax returns and fraudulently receive tax refunds. Thirty-nine federal and 17 state defendants are charged in connection with the fraud rings that operated in Bulloch and surrounding counties.
The 15 defendants are accused of operating in and around the Claxton, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia. Thirteen suspects were arrested this week. The investigation continues.
Santana Lundy, 29, of Statesboro, and Katrina Beasley, 32, of Claxton, remain at large. Six defendants indicted on state charges were also arrested.
Those who face federal charges made their first appearance in court Thursday in Statesboro.
J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated, "The additional charges and arrests not only demonstrate the extensive nature of this tax fraud scheme but also the law enforcement resolve to address it. The FBI will continue to partner with its various law enforcement agencies to ensure that this type of criminal activity is firmly addressed and brought to a halt," said J. Britt Johnson, special agent in charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office.
If convicted, each federal defendant faces up to 20 years in prison for the wire fraud conspiracy and wire fraud charges; up to 10 years in prison for the theft of public money and access device fraud charges; up to 5 years in prison for the conspiracy to commit theft of public money charge; and a two-year mandatory, consecutive prison sentence for each charge of aggravated identity theft. Each of these charges also carries a fine of up to $250,000.