A federal judge sentenced a San Francisco man to seven years in prison Tuesday for stealing identities and conspiring to file fraudulent tax returns, according to officials.
In January, at the conclusion of a two-week trial, a federal jury convicted Howard Webber, 52, of conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud, mail fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
According to the evidence presented at trial, Webber and co-defendant Clifford Bercovich filed more than 700 false returns and received over $600,000 in fraudulently obtained income tax refunds.
In addition to the term of prison imposed, Webber was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release.
According to the evidence presented at trial, from June 2010 through January 2012, Webber conspired with Bercovich to obtain the names and social security numbers of fellow inmates while Webber was incarcerated at several prisons and jails, including San Quentin State Prison and Santa Clara County jail in California, and the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Webber and Bercovich convinced inmates to give them their names and social security numbers by explaining that they could help the inmates take advantage of government stimulus programs or secret tax loopholes.
Webber and Bercovich recruited inmates to help them solicit the identities of other inmates and created a limited-liability company, Inmate Assets Recovery, and Liquidation Services LLC, to make their scheme appear legitimate.
Webber and Bercovich used the identities they obtained to file false federal income tax returns with the IRS.
The returns falsely represented that the individuals earned wages or other income and fraudulently claimed refunds. Webber and Bercovich opened a post office box, which they listed on each false return and used to receive the fraudulently obtained refund checks.
In some cases, they also directed that refunds be wired to bank accounts, which they opened and controlled.Warning: file_get_contents(): https:// wrapper is disabled in the server configuration by allow_url_fopen=0 in /hermes/bosweb26a/b360/ipg.sbnotebookcom/wp-content/themes/goodnews5/framework/functions/posts_share.php on line 151 Warning: file_get_contents(https://plusone.google.com/_/+1/fastbutton?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cjnotebook.com%2Fman-sentenced-to-seven-years-in-prison-for-stealing-prisoners-ids%2F): failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /hermes/bosweb26a/b360/ipg.sbnotebookcom/wp-content/themes/goodnews5/framework/functions/posts_share.php on line 151