|Cable Guy Commits 'White-Collar' Crime|
|By SUSANNA KIM (@skimm)||May 10, 2013, 8:40 AM|
A cable installation worker in Alabama who used the IP addresses of his customers to file 27 fake tax returns was sentenced to 30 months in prison this week.
Corey Thompson, now 29, was an independent contractor for Charter Communications Inc. in Montgomery, Ala., who installed cable and Internet access for customers.
Thompson also owned and operated a tax return business called Satisfaction Tax Service, said the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Alabama.
Thompson pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to file false claims and one count of aggravated identity theft. The 27 fraudulent tax returns requested a total of $91,304 in refunds.
Thompson's attorney, Mike Winter, said his client admitted his guilt out of a genuine sense of remorse and that this was the only crime he has committed in his entire adult life.
"Given that he committed a 'white-collar' crime, and that he presents no risk of either flight or further criminal activity, Judge Fuller did authorize him to self-report to prison at a future date," Winter said.
From January 2011 to April 2012, the U.S. Attorney's Office said, Thompson conspired with others to file fraudulent tax claims for refunds by using the Internet Protocol [IP] addresses of Charter customers for whom he performed work, making it appear as if the false tax returns were being filed from the customer's IP address.
Thompson and others allegedly obtained the names and Social Security numbers of actual people to file the false tax returns.
Some of Thompson's alleged co-conspirators were also indicted for falsely filing tax returns with stolen identities.
Thompson and his alleged co-conspirators were able to obtain the personal information from a prison guard and from an employee at a debt collection agency, according to Alabama Media Group's AL.com.
Thompson would then prepare and electronically file false 2011 individual income tax returns and direct those funds into pre-paid debit cards, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The cards were mailed to addresses Thompson and his co-conspirators chose.