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3 Utah men accused of identity, tax fraud

Published November 26, 2012 4:54 pm

Courts • Defendants filed tax returns with IDs of dead people.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Three Utah county men are accused in newly unsealed federal indictments of usurping identities to file fraudulent tax forms with the Internal Revenue Service.

According to documents unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court, the three men obtained personal information of individuals who died in California from a website that listed names, addresses and Social Security numbers of deceased persons. They then created wage documents from fictitious employers and filed tax returns using that information.

The defendants are Joshua Erle Garrison, 20; Nathaniel Jay McGee, 31; and Kaden John Ashton, 19. Garrison and McGee were arrested and arraigned earlier this month. A jury trial is set for Garrison on Jan. 7. Authorities are still seeking Ashton.

According to the indictments, Garrison received five refunds that ranged from $1,046 to $1,125, all deposited directly in his bank account. Ashton also filed taxes using personal data for five individuals and received returns ranging from $1,402 to $2,624. McGee received five refunds, all in the amount of $1,046.

Each man faces five counts for every crime involved in the scheme: making false claims, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

The potential penalty for each false claim count is up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Wire fraud carries a potential penalty of up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, while a conviction for aggravated identity theft carries a potential two-year mandatory minimum sentence.

brooke@sltrib.com