Phenix City man indicted in $19 million tax fraud scheme

Phenix City man indicted in $19 million tax fraud scheme

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A Phenix City man was arrested Wednesday after being indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiring to file fraudulent refund claims, mail fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, according to the Department of Justice.

According to the indictment, between November 2010 and December 2013, William Anthony Gosha III, or Boo Boo, and co-conspirators used stolen IDs to file over 7,000 tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service. They sought more than $19 million in fraudulent refunds.

The indictment alleges Gosha got IDs of Alabama Department of Corrections inmates and his co-conspirators got IDs from multiple sources, including from a state agency.

Gosha and his co-conspirators also allegedly got several Electronic Filing Identification Numbers in the names of sham tax preparation businesses in order to file the returns and apply for tax-refund related bank products from financial institutions.

The indictment reports Gosha and his co-conspirators told the IRS to issue refunds to prepaid debit cards, U.S. Treasury checks and financial institutions. It also alleges they recruited U.S. Postal Service employees to provide addresses on their mail routes to which the refund checks could be sent.

According to the indictment, Gosha and his co-conspirators cashed the checks at several Alabama and Georgia businesses.

Gosha faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the conspiracy count, a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count of wire and mail fraud and a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison for each count of aggravated identity theft, if convicted. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, forfeiture and monetary penalties.

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