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US citizen imprisoned for conniving with Nigerian to steal $6.7m from 12,000 tax payers

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A Georgia man, Melvin Orellana has been sentenced in Nevada, United States, to 18 months in prison for participating in an identity theft conspiracy.

According to a statement on the website of the US Department of Justice, Orellana was a computer support employee for a company that provided tax software to return preparation businesses throughout the United States.

He however supplied sensitive taxpayers’ data to King Isaac Umoren, a Nigerian based in Las Vegas, who in turn executed the fraud.

The Nigerian who operated the Universal Tax Services (UTS), a tax preparation firm, used the information he received from Orellana to steal from the tax software business.

Between May 2016 and November 2017, Umoren made $6.7 million from the fraud.

He sought this taxpayer information to falsely inflate UTS’s client base in an effort to fraudulently sell UTS to an unsuspecting buyer.

Read also:US court convicts nurse for culpable homicide

In exchange for the stolen taxpayer data, Umoren agreed to pay Orellana $20,000 after UTS was sold.

In August 2017, Orellana provided to Umoren taxpayer data for approximately 12,000 taxpayers whose returns were prepared by businesses using the tax software.

In November 2017, Umoren used this taxpayer data to fraudulently sell UTS for $6.7 million.

In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon for the U.S. District Court of Nevada ordered Orellana to serve three years of supervised release.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Jason M. Frierson for the District of Nevada made the announcement.

IRS Criminal-Investigation and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration investigated the case.

Trial Attorneys Sarah A. Kiewlicz and Patrick Burns of the Justice Department’s Tax Division prosecuted the case.

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