According to United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: Bradford Thomas, 47, orchestrated a scheme to file more than 1,200 false tax returns using the names and Social Security numbers of various victims, many of whom were incarcerated in jails or prisons throughout the country.
These false tax returns from January 2010 through May 2013 claimed more than $5.5 million in fraudulent tax refunds that were directed to be deposited into bank accounts controlled by Thomas or individuals working with him.
The scheme caused an actual loss of over $1.6 million in taxpayer money.
In conjunction with the arrest of Thomas in August 2013, federal agents searched two locations from which the tax returns were electronically submitted to the IRS, including a business named “Immaculate Autos” at 2691 McCollum Parkway in Kennesaw, and Thomas's primary residence in Acworth.
At those locations, investigators uncovered $438,080 in cash, two handguns, jewelry, and various luxury automobiles, including a 2005 Rolls Royce Phantom, a 2008 Maserati Granturismo, a 2005 Bentley 2D, a 2006 Mercedes Benz, a 2003 Hummer H2, a 2007 Mercedes Benz S550, a 2004 Land Rover Range Rover, and a 2002 GMC Denali XL.
“This defendant used the stolen identities of prisoners to steal millions of taxpayer dollars and enrich his own lifestyle,” said Yates in a news release. “This case exemplifies our continuing efforts to combat identity-theft schemes designed to steal tax dollars, which have grown to disturbing levels.”
Thomas was sentenced by United States District Judge
Steve C. Jones to 10 years and one month in
federal prison and three years of supervised release, and ordered to
pay $1,663,035 in restitution to the IRS.
The court also ordered Thomas to forfeit his interest in the cash, weapons, jewelry, and luxury automobiles found at his business and residence. Thomas pleaded guilty on November 22, 2013, to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.