40-year-old Dion Hatch and 38-year-old Amon Rweyemamu Mtaza allegedly stole the identities of over 600 people in a tax fraud scheme, according to court documents obtained by Breitbart Texas. The pair reportedly collected roughly $1.8 million by filing false tax returns under numerous names.
Hatch, a Houston native, was arrested on April 1, according to the Associated Press. Mtaza, who is originally from Tanzania, was arrested earlier. Both are charged with several offenses including conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, and wire fraud.
According to a March 2014 indictment obtained by Breitbart Texas, the scheme was carried out primarily in southern Texas from January 2010 until March 2014. The pair allegedly used “stolen and unlawfully obtained personal identifying information, including names and social security numbers, of individuals to prepare fraudulent U.S. tax returns using that personal identifying information.” They are accused of electronically filing the fraudulent tax returns, then spending the funds received on items “for their own benefit.”
The indictment cited six specific individuals whose identities were apparently stolen by the defendants. Hatch and Mtaza used the victims’ names and social security numbers in order to apply for and ultimately collect the fraudulent tax returns.
If the defendants are found guilty, all property acquired using the scheme’s profits will be seized. Court records state that if convicted, they each could face up to 42 years in prison, eight years of subsequent supervised release, and $500,000 in fines.
Breitbart Texas’ calls to the Houston Police Department were not immediately returned.
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