A Smyrna man was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison for claiming over $5 million in false tax refunds.
According to U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, Mauricio Warner, 38, deceived thousands of unsuspecting victims in order to gain access to their names and Social Security numbers. From about January 2011 to April 2012, he filed more than 5,000 tax returns using the individuals’ information.
“Victims were told (by Warner) they could submit an application for an ‘Obama stimulus payment’ or 'Free Government Money’ by providing their names and Social Security numbers,” Yates said.
“On the returns, Warner claimed false income amounts and student credits to generate the bogus tax refunds, and directed the IRS to pay the refund amounts to bank accounts he controlled.”
Victims did not know their identities were being used, she said.
On April 18, Warner was convicted of 16 counts of wire fraud, 16 counts of aggravated identity theft, 16 counts of filing false claims and two counts of money laundering. Numerous victims testified at trial. Warner was taken into custody after the verdict.
He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Charles Pannell, Jr. to 20 years in federal prison and three years of supervised release.
Warner was also ordered to pay over $5 million in restitution.
“As this sentence shows, tax fraud and identity theft are crimes that do not pay,” Yates said.