Chibueze Chidozie Nwafor, 27, also known as 'Cheeze', was sentenced by United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II and ordered to pay $118,474 in restitution to the IRS.
"Crimes of this nature are becoming close to an epidemic," Assistant U.S. Attorney, Nicholas A. Pilgrim said. "We are aggressively seeking to tackle this problem. "
In January, Nwafor pleaded guilty to presenting false claims to the United States, theft of government benefits and aggravated identity theft. The plea came on the day his criminal trial was scheduled to begin.
According to the court documents, Nwafor used the names and Social Security numbers of people he knew in order to submit false tax returns.
Nwafor, who has ties to Nigeria, prepared tax returns in 2009 for various people including a 2008 federal income tax return in the name of an unidentified victim claiming a tax refund of $7,773.
Similar to other tax refunds filed by Nwafor, this federal income tax return included a Form W-2, which falsely claimed that the unidentified victim received $30,119 in wages from California Mutual Life and Health, a bogus corportaion
Subsequent to the filing of this fraudulent return, the IRS issued a tax refund that Nwafor stole and converted to his own use.
In the 2010 tax year, Nwafor filed a fraudulent tax return on his own behalf claiming false deductions, which resulted in Nwafor receiving a Treasury check in the amount of $32,789 from the IRS.
The 70-month sentence included a mandatory two-year term for the identity theft charge.
"We need to end this from happening to innocent victims," Pilgrim said. "Nwafor's part in the crime was calculated at the $120,000 area where the other individuals involved have brought the fraud to nearly $900,000. "
The charges are the result of an ongoing investigation by the Internal Revenue Service criminal investigation unit.