Man pleads guilty to nationwide wire fraud scheme
JEFFERSON CITY - A Georgia man faces up to 60 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a wire fraud scheme totaling $2,365,617 in tax refunds from 17 states including Missouri.
Sirhon Rivers, 40, pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Rivers illegally obtained $547,000 from the Missouri Department of Revenue from January 2008 to August 2012 by filing fraudulent tax returns. The other states victim to the scheme were Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Virginia.
After acquiring personal information of deceased persons such as names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth,Rivers submitted tax returns. State tax returns were sent electronically, and the refunds were transferred to bank accounts that Rivers opened at different financial institutions.
On top of facing 60 years in federal prison without parole, Rivers is subject to a fine of up to $1 million and he must forfeit to the government the amount of money fraudulently received in his bank accounts.
The sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.