A 46-year-old Richardson, Texas, man has been sentenced to federal prison for violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.
Christopher Anekwe pleaded guilty on Dec. 11, 2017, to the sale of stolen treasury checks, theft of government property, and aggravated identity theft and was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison on Sep. 11, 2018, by U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant. Anekwe was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $141,469.
According to information presented in court, Anekwe participated in a scheme using stolen personal identifying information to file false and fraudulent IRS tax returns, causing the government to issue refund checks based on the fraudulent information. On July 30, 2013, an associate of Anekwe sold three checks, which had been obtained from Anekwe. A federal grand jury returned an indictment on July 13, 2016, charging Anekwe with federal violations.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation take seriously the crimes of theft of government funds, tax return fraud, and identity theft,” said U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown. “Each year millions of individuals are affected by this crime, and many millions of dollars are stolen from the federal treasury by criminals using the identifying information of innocent citizens, who are then affected by this crime as well. This office will continue to coordinate with law enforcement agencies including the IRS, is spearheading the investigation and prosecution of these crimes.”
“The defendant who perpetrated this scheme defrauded the government and the taxpaying public,” said Kevin Caramucci, IRS Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Field Office. “Stealing identities is a serious crime that hurts innocent taxpayers. Today’s sentence should serve as a strong warning to those individuals who seek to willfully defraud the United States Treasury and blatantly disregard the victims of their schemes.”
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Gibson.