ALEXANDRIA, Va. – On Saturday, a federal jury convicted a former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee of access device fraud.
“As the evidence at trial showed, the defendant engaged in a scheme involving fraudulent purchases and payments, including by using a fictitious charity website, for his own benefit,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “We thank the trial team and our partner agencies for ensuring that the defendant has been held accountable for inexcusably committing this crime while he was serving as a federal employee.”
According to court records and evidence presented at trial, a former Information Technology Specialist for the IRS, Kwashie Senam Zilevu, 37, of Woodbridge, operated a fraud scheme in which he used a line of credit in a victim’s name to make hundreds of purchases totaling more than $58,000, for his own benefit. In connection with this scheme, identity information was obtained from the Dark Web. Ultimately, a credit card in the victim’s name was mailed to the defendant’s home in Woodbridge.
Zilevu’s purchases included international plane tickets, expensive hotel rooms, interior decorating services, and construction materials used to remodel his home, among other goods and services. Evidence presented at trial also demonstrated that Zilevu made fraudulent payments to himself using financial instruments belonging to other people, including routing charitable donations to a fictitious African charity website he created, controlled, and used to further his criminal activity, and by receiving payments from a PayPal account associated with the credit card opened in the victim’s name.
Zilevu faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison when sentenced on November 10. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration; and Daniel A. Adame, Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Rossie D. Alston, Jr. accepted the verdict.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ronald P. Fiorillo II and Jamar K. Walker are prosecuting the case.
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