PENSACOLA, FLORIDA - Victor T. Williams, 28, of Tampa, Florida, pled guilty yesterday to charges of conspiracy, theft of public money, and aggravated identity theft based on his participation in a scheme to obtain fraudulent federal income tax refunds. The plea was announced by Pamela C. Marsh, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
Between 2011 and 2012, Williams and his uncle, Kenneth R. Faison, 51, the pastor of the Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ in Mexia, Alabama, conspired to deposit more than $235,000 in U.S. Treasury checks issued on false tax returns. The returns had been filed in the names of taxpayers, some deceased, whose identities had been stolen. Williams obtained the checks from confederates in the Tampa area, and mailed them to Faison, who then deposited the checks in banks in north Florida and south Alabama. Faison kept a percentage of the stolen funds for himself, and transferred the remainder to Williams. In one instance, Faison added the victim taxpayer as signatory to his bank account, using identifying information stolen from the victim to do so.
Earlier this year, Faison pled guilty to conspiracy, theft of public money, and aggravated identity theft for his role in the conspiracy. He is scheduled to be sentenced before Senior United States District Judge Roger Vinson on April 9, 2013. Williams is scheduled for sentencing on May 8, 2013 before Judge Vinson.
Conspiracy is punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Theft of public monies is punishable by ten years in prison. Aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison, which must be served consecutively to any other sentence.
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alicia Kim.