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Stealing an ID to Fraudulently Cash a Tax Refund? Don’t Steal the U.S. Attorney General’s. DOJ Cracks Down on ID Theft and Tax Fraud Refunds.

By ThreatMetrix
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What do you get for trying to scam the Attorney General of the United States? Caught. Yafait Tadesse and Eyaso Abebe pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns under a number of stolen identities including the U.S. Attorney General’s.

Is there a cause and effect between Attorney General Holder getting his ID stolen and the Justice Department stepping up enforcement against stolen identity tax fraud? Your call.

Anyway… the Justice Department didn’t need much prompting to make ID theft to steal a tax refund a top priority. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have been victimized. According to Caroline May’s story on, last year the IRS reported resolving and closing about 963,000 cases of identity theft and the Justice Department charged more than 880 defendants.

In a video warning about tax refund fraud, the Attorney General said, “The Justice Department will use every tool at its disposal to go after these scammers. And we’ll keep working with the IRS, the FBI, the Secret Service, the Postal Inspection Service, and other federal law enforcement agencies – as well as state and local law authorities – to combat these crimes.

“But we need members of the public to do their part by staying vigilant. After all, identity thieves can target anyone — something I saw firsthand last year, when two people attempted to get a fraudulent tax refund using my personal information.”

Holder summed up by asking people to learn how to protect themselves by going to the IRS website or visiting

By ThreatMetrix Posted