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Manatee County resident faces tax fraud charges

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  • | 3:40 p.m. August 28, 2015
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  • Manatee-Sarasota
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BRADENTON — A Manatee County resident has been indicted in an identity theft and tax fraud case.

Ledale Johnson has been charged with three counts of credit card fraud, three counts of aggravated identity theft and two counts of filing false tax returns, according to a U.S. Attorney's Office statement. The indictment, the release adds, also notifies Johnson that the federal government seeks a monetary judgment of $48,416 — the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct.

Authorities contend that on several occasions between October 2011 and March 2012, Johnson possessed and used unauthorized and counterfeit debit cards loaded with fraudulently obtained tax refunds. Those refunds, allege prosecutors, were the result of tax returns filed with stolen identities. Johnson also filed a fraudulent tax return in his name and the name of another individual, the statement adds.

Johnson had his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli and was detained. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison for each count of credit card fraud, up to five years for each of the false tax filing counts and a consecutive two-year term for the aggravated identity theft counts.

The Manatee County Sheriff's Office, the Bradenton Police Department and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation unit worked jointly on the investigation.


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