Computer consultant sentenced to prison for access device fraud scheme | USAO-NDGA

ATLANTA — Kevin Kirton has been convicted of running an access device fraud scheme that stole over $600,000 in fraudulent tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service.

“Kirton has developed technological ‘solutions’ to run his own fraud programs and help others commit fraud,” said US Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. “Every thief thinks they have invented a new, undetectable method of stealing. As in this case, they will be caught, prosecuted and spent years in federal prison reflecting on their failed endeavor.”

“Kirton was part of a major tax fraud program and his operation defrauded American taxpayers by using stolen identities to solicit the issuance of fraudulent tax refunds,” said Special Agent in Charge, James E. Dorsey, IRS. “This conviction should serve as a warning to other would-be schemers. As tax filing season continues, those attempting similar thefts from the US Treasury should be aware that Special Agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation will continue to aggressively pursue anyone attempting to defraud the American tax system.

“As the length of the sentence in this case demonstrates, fraud is a pernicious crime, particularly when it comes to identity theft,” said US Secret Service Special Agent Steven R. Baisel. “The Secret Service, along with our federal partners, will continue to aggressively investigate and bring to justice those who seek to compromise our financial infrastructure.”

“The egregious criminal behavior in this case, resulting in theft of identities and tax refunds, demonstrates once again that crime doesn’t pay,” said Kyle A. Myles, Acting Special Agent, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – Office of Inspector General (FDIC-OIG ). “We continue to work with our law enforcement partners to combat financial crime — and its impact on our nation’s banks and financial institutions.”

According to US Attorney Erskine, the charges and other information will be presented in court: Kevin Kirton developed a computer program to file fraudulent federal income tax returns with the IRS. The computer program stored stolen identities and could be used to submit fraudulent tax returns to the IRS on behalf of stolen identities, effectively automating stolen identity tax refund fraud. The computer program could be accessed remotely via the Internet to create fraudulent tax returns. The resulting fraudulent tax refunds were deposited into prepaid debit cards on behalf of identity theft victims.

To cover up the fraudulent activity, Kirton developed techniques to hide Internet Protocol addresses so the IRS could not trace a fraudulent tax return to a specific point of origin. Kirton also set up a fake phone system, which he believed would be uneavesdropable, to communicate with other criminals.

A search warrant was issued at Kirton’s home and law enforcement discovered hundreds of prepaid debit cards in the names of identity theft victims and numerous fake driver’s licenses, among other things. Law enforcement also found a factsheet from the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration entitled “Income and Withholding Tax Verification Procedures Lead to the Issuance of Potentially Fraudulent Tax Refunds.”

While Kirton’s case was pending and he was out on bail, he telephoned an associate incarcerated at Robert A. Deyton’s Detention Center in an attempt to influence an associate’s testimony in his case. Recorded prison phone calls between Kirton and his imprisoned associate show that Kirton repeatedly attempted to convey threats veiled by the imprisoned associate to the associate. Because of this behavior, Kirton’s bail was revoked and he was imprisoned pending the resolution of his case.

Kevin Kirton, 44, of Dallas, Georgia, was sentenced on March 14, 2022 to six years and nine months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and to pay $629,551 in damages. On June 17, 2021, he pleaded guilty to count of access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the US Secret Service and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – Office of Inspector General.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Samir Kaushal and Alana Black and Assistant U.S. Special Attorney Zack Howard prosecuted the case.

For more information, please contact the US Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The web address of the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

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