U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut has announced the sentence of a Cobb County man for the role he played in obtaining the personal information of employees of the school district.
The Nigeria national, Olukayode Ibrahim Lawal, was on Tuesday gave a ten-month jail term by Judge Jeffrey Meyer of United States District Court in New Haven.
In December 2018, Lawal pleaded guilty to a count of wire fraud following the decision to place him on trial earlier in the year, May.
In 2017, requests were sent to several school districts demanding employees’ personal information. The 36-year-old did this via phishing emails and after that filed fraudulent tax returns in the name of the employees as discovered by FBI cybercrime squad and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Suspicious Form 1040 filings
Lawal became a federal target after receiving about 1,300 employees' personal information from a Groton Public Schools employee. An email requesting W-2 tax information for all system employees was sent to the employee seemingly from a coworker. The employee forwarded the requested information accordingly. Once he gets the information, Lawal filed around 100 suspicious Form 1040 to the IRS, equaling $491,737 in refunds, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
Only three of the requests, which equals $23,543, were processed by IRS because others were suspected to be fake the feds.
It was also claimed by prosecutors that Lawal attempted a similar scheme on a hospital but was not successful with the $314,184 tax refunds.
Lawal, who refused to leave the US after his visitor's visa expired on December 1, 2016, will now be deported back to Nigeria.
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