MINNEAPOLIS — A suburban St. Paul man pleaded guilty Friday to multiple charges related to tax refund fraud and fraudulently obtaining U.S. citizenship.
This guilty plea resulted from an investigation by the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Criminal Investigation Division and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Muhammed Fatty, 41 of Little Canada, Minnesota, pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful procurement of naturalization and making false claims in relation to tax refunds. Fatty was previously charged with the crimes in August 2015.
“Investigating refund fraud is a top priority for IRS Criminal Investigation,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Shea Jones of the St. Paul Field Office. “Filing false tax returns is a serious crime that hurts innocent taxpayers. Law enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are serious about investigating these crimes and holding accountable those who defraud the government and taxpayers.”
Law enforcement became aware of the scheme when Department of State consular officials identified a visa applicant using the same name as an individual already in the United States who had previously naturalized in 2013.
According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, in January 2015 Fatty devised a scheme in which he prepared and electronically filed a false tax return using the name and social security number of another person and knowingly made and presented to the IRS a claim for refund in the amount of $9,332.
From 2006 until 2015, the defendant falsely used the name and social security number of another person and fraudulently claimed and received tax refunds from the United States in the amount of $46,109. In addition, as of May 2016, under the defendant’s true name and social security number, the defendant owed the IRS $7,407 in back taxes and fees.
Fatty attempted to obtain medical assistance by fraudulently using the name and social security number of another person. Fatty has fraudulently received about $7,857 in benefits involving premiums paid by the State of Minnesota.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan R. Wood prosecuted the case.