TWO Zimbabwean men have been indicted by a grand jury in Dallas, Texas, over their involvement in a US$2.6 million income tax refund identity theft scheme.
Tonderai Sakupwanya, 33, jailed last year over the false use of a passport, and Reminico Zhangazha, 32, ran the scheme from May 2009 to May 2012, U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas said on Monday.
The indictment charges Sakupwanya and Zhangazha each with one count of conspiring to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.
According to the indictment, the two men obtained $2.6 million in federal income tax refunds by electronically filing false tax returns with stolen personal identification information.
The pair also rented private mail boxes to establish mailing addresses and established bank accounts to receive the fraudulently-obtained tax refunds, according to the indictment.
The two men used the cash for their personal use, it is alleged.
If convicted, they each face a maximum of 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
Sakupwanya, aka “Pound, Webster Rice, Floyd Roberts and Floyd Robbins,” is in federal custody after pleading guilty in October to falsely using a passport.
Zhangazha, aka “Boss Remy,” “Martin V. Masters and Roy Daniel Black,” is also in federal custody. He pleaded guilty to making a false statement in the use of a passport.