Federal authorities have announced that a married couple from Atlanta, GA, has been sentenced for their roles in an identity theft and income tax fraud scheme that took place in early 2013. Justin Cody, 33, received a seven year and three month prison sentence while his wife, Aeshia Wilmore, 25, was sentenced to two years in prison.
Authorities say Cody and Wilmore participated in a scheme that began in February 2013 in which stolen identities were used to file hundreds of fraudulent income tax returns. Cody used stolen personal information, and fabricated wage and withholding information, to fill out tax returns which led to claims of more than $600,000 in refunds from the Department of Treasury. He then had the refunds applied to a series of prepaid debit cards that he and his wife used at ATMs.
In November, Cody and Wilmore each pleaded guilty to a substantive count of theft of public funds. Cody also pleaded guilty to aggravated identity fraud.
J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated, “The FBI is pleased with the role it played in bringing these defendants to justice. The FBI will continue to provide its investigative resources and assets in protecting individuals’ identities and their use in these growing schemes involving false tax returns.”
This case was investigated by special agents of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant United States Attorney Karlyn J. Hunter and Nekia Hackworth prosecuted the case.