Friday, May 11, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || Updated: 5:34 p.m.
A Maywood man was sentenced on May 10 to federal prison for identity theft and tax fraud, according to a statement released by the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation office.
Taj Chapmon, 41, was sentenced to 74 months in federal prison, with two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $264,973 in restitution. Chapmon had pleaded guilty last year to four counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.
According to the IRS statement, court documents show that “between at least January 2012 through February 2013, Chapmon filed at least 239 false and fictitious tax returns for tax years 2011 and 2012.”
The tax returns included false statements about Chapmon’s income, tax withholding and employment, with the defendant having sought tax refunds totaling approximately $755,691.
“In some instances Chapmon instructed that the tax refunds be placed in bank accounts belonging to Chapmon’s parents and straw account holders,” the IRS statement noted. “The IRS paid out approximately $456,634 of those refunds.”
The IRS added that Chapmon filed at least 88 tax returns using the names and social security numbers of people who were not aware that their personal information was being used to file tax returns in their names.
At the sentence, Chapmon’s lawyer said acknowledged that her client “purchased the identities used to file the tax returns on the dark web,” which is an aspect of the internet that is not encrypted.
Gabriel L. Grchan, the special agent-in-charge of the IRS’s Chicago criminal investigation division, announced the sentence, which was imposed by U.S. District Judge John Robert Blakey. The case was prosecuted in the Northern District of Illinois. VFP
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly noted that Chapmon was sentenced to 74 years in prison instead of 74 months in prison. This post has since been updated. VFP regrets the error.
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