A Bradenton man has pleaded guilty to filing a false income tax return on behalf of another and aggravated identify theft as part of scheme that netted more than $250,000, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Tampa.
Ledale Johnson, 51, faces up to seven years in prison when he is sentenced at a later date.
"According to the plea agreement, Johnson participated in a scheme involving the filing of false tax returns claiming tax refunds from the IRS totaling more than $250,000. Nearly $60,000 was downloaded to prepaid debit cards, in other people's names, as a result of those filings." a news release states. "On several dates between October 2011 and March 2012, Johnson was found to be in possession of unauthorized and counterfeit debit cards that had been loaded with fraudulently obtained tax refunds filed using stolen identities. Johnson also had filed a fraudulent tax return in his name and the name of another individual."
In November 2011, when law enforcement officers searched Johnson's residence, officers seized personal identifying information belonging to others, multiple computers, and more than 100 user identification numbers associated with electronically filing tax returns, according to the release.
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The case was investigated by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, the Bradenton Police Department and the Internal Revenue Service,