MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Bloomington man was sentenced to 110 months in prison Wednesday afternoon for using hundreds of stolen identities to file false tax returns throughout the country.
Ayotomide Ajifowobaje, 29, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States in July, admitting to filing taxes and requesting refunds under more than 450 names. He was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis.
According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office, Ajifowobaje purchased stolen personal information from hundreds of individuals between May 2014 and February 2015, including names, addresses, dates of birth, and social security numbers.
Using the information, prosecutors say Ajifowobaje and his co-conspirators looked to see if anyone had already filed a tax return under those identities. If not, they would file one electronically using the victim’s correct identity information, but with a false W-2 form.
Ajifowobaje would then set up fake email addresses to track the status of the return and expected refund.
In order to conceal any incriminating information, prosecutors say all the funds were sent to hundreds of different debit cards, and the taxes were filed through a hotel’s communal Wi-Fi.
Authorities say the case was the result of an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division.