PITTSBURGH (WPRI) — Five men, including a man in Rhode Island, are now facing federal fraud charges in a massive ID theft and fake tax return scheme that’s alleged to have cost the U.S. Treasury $10 million.
A federal prosecutor, U.S. Attorney David Hickton, announced the indictments of the men on Wednesday morning in Pittsburgh, Pa., including Doherty Kushimo of Providence. Hickton said the men filed $21 million worth of fraudulent tax refunds, and the IRS paid up on about half of them.
The other suspects include three people from New York and one person from Tennessee.
Besides the tax refund frauds, the defendants are also accused of a slew of other fraudulent practices to gain money, including obtaining false driver’s licenses and Social Security cards, according to the unsealed indictment. Those IDs were then used to open bank accounts at several different banks and credit unions across the country.
Some of the illegally obtained funds were sent to Nigeria, while the defendants allegedly spent part of the rest.