ATLANTA — Kevin Kirton has been convicted of leading an access device fraud scheme that involved stealing more than $600,000 in fraudulent tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service.
“Kirton created technical ‘solutions’ to conduct his own fraud schemes and help others commit fraud,” U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine said. “Each thief believes they have developed a new, undetectable method of stealing. As they do, they will be arrested, prosecuted, and face years in federal prison to think about their failed attempt.
“Kirton was part of a massive tax fraud scheme and his operation defrauded U.S. taxpayers by using stolen identities to solicit the issuance of fraudulent tax refunds,” said Special Agent in Charge James E. Dorsey, IRS. “This conviction should serve as a warning to other potential schemers. As tax filing season continues, those attempting similar thefts at the U.S. Treasury should be aware, IRS Special Agents – Criminal Investigation will continue the pursuit. aggressive response from anyone attempting to defraud the US tax system.”
“As evidenced by the length of the prison sentence in this case, fraud is a pernicious crime, especially when it comes to identity theft.” said US Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Steven R. Baisel. “The Secret Service and our federal partners will continue to aggressively investigate and bring to justice those who attempt to compromise our financial infrastructure.”
“The egregious criminal conduct in this case resulted in the theft of identities and tax refunds, and once again shows that crime does not pay,” said Kyle A. Myles, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – Office of Inspector General (FDIC-OIG). “We continue to work with our law enforcement partners to combat financial crime – and its impact on our nation’s banks and financial institutions.”
According to US Attorney Erskine, the charges and other information presented to the court: Kevin Kirton created a computer program to file fraudulent federal tax returns with the IRS. The computer program stored stolen identities and could be used to submit fraudulent tax returns on behalf of the stolen identities to the IRS, effectively automating stolen identity tax refund fraud. The computer program could be accessed remotely via the Internet to prepare fraudulent tax returns. The resulting fraudulent tax refunds were deposited into prepaid debit cards in the names of identity theft victims.
To help conceal fraudulent activity, Kirton has developed techniques for hiding Internet Protocol addresses so that the IRS cannot trace a fraudulent tax return to a particular point of origin. Kirton also set up a fake phone system that he said would not be susceptible to tapping to communicate with other criminals.
A search warrant was conducted at Kirton’s residence and law enforcement discovered, among other things, hundreds of prepaid debit cards in the names of identity theft victims and numerous fake driver’s licenses. Law enforcement also found an information pamphlet from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration titled “Income and Withholding Verification Processes Lead to the Issuance of Potentially Tax Refunds.” fraudulent”.
While Kirton’s case was pending and he was on bail, he contacted an associate who was being held at the Robert A. Deyton Detention Center by telephone, seeking to influence the testimony of a cooperator in his case. Recorded jail calls between Kirton and his imprisoned associate show that Kirton repeatedly sought to convey veiled threats to the Cooperator through the imprisoned associate. Due to this conduct, Kirton’s bail was revoked and he was held pending resolution of his case.
Kevin Kirton, 44, of Dallas, Georgia, was sentenced March 14, 2022 to six years and nine months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $629,551 . On June 17, 2021, he pleaded guilty to device access fraud and aggravated impersonation.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the US Secret Service and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – Office of Inspector General.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Samir Kaushal and Alana Black and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Zack Howard prosecuted the case.
For more information, please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Public Affairs at [email protected] or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.