Nigerian Pleads Guilty In U.S To $12m Tax Refund Fraud, Voter Fraud, Illegal Reentry

BEVERLY HILLS, July 14, (THEWILL) – United States’ acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Stuart M. Goldberg and acting Attorney Carrie Costantin for the Eastern District of Missouri say a 56-year-old Nigerian on Friday pleaded guilty to mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, voter fraud and illegally re-entering the U.S after having been deported.

Goldberg is of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

Documents filed at the court revealed that the Nigerian, Kevin Kunlay Williams, aka Kunlay Sodipo, and others, stole public school employees’ IDs from a payroll company and used same to electronically file more than 2,000 fraudulent federal income tax returns seeking over $12 million in refunds.

He was also said to have stolen several return preparer’s Electronic Filing Identification Numbers, EFINs, and used same to secure tax-related bank products and services that facilitated the issuance of tax refunds, to include blank check stock and debit cards.

The accused Nigerian used the blank stock to print checks funded by the fraudulent refunds and directed some of the refunds onto debit cards.

Williams previously entered the U.S from Nigeria under the name Kunlay Sodipo, but was deported in 1995. In 1999, Williams illegally returned to the United States from Nigeria using the last name Williams. In 2012, he registered to vote in federal, state and local elections by falsely claiming that he was a U.S. citizen and voted in the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections.

Williams, who resided in St. Louis, Missouri, remains in federal custody and his sentencing is scheduled for October 13 before Chief U.S. District Judge, Rodney W. Sippel.

He faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for mail fraud, 10 years in prison for illegal reentry, five years in prison for each voter fraud count and a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison for aggravated identity theft. Williams also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, forfeiture and deportation.

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