Ex-city employee charged with identity theft

March 30, 2006|By MATTHEW DOLAN | MATTHEW DOLAN,SUN REPORTER

A federal grand jury has indicted a former Baltimore housing authority employee suspected of stealing the identity of public housing and group home residents and using the information to file for tax refunds, prosecutors announced yesterday.

Benjamin Iloamuzo, 36, is believed to be living outside the country. He is charged in the 30-count indictment with filing fraudulent income tax returns and identity theft.

According to the indictment returned Tuesday, Iloamuzo was employed with Baltimore's housing authority in 2000 and 2001. Federal prosecutors accused him of stealing names and Social Security numbers of authority clients and group home residents.

FOR THE RECORD - In yesterday's Maryland section, because of incorrect information contained in an indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, The Sun incorrectly described the job status of Benjamin Iloamuzo, 36, who was indicted on charges of stealing employees' identities. David Tillman, a spokesman for the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, said Iloamuzo worked for the Account Temps firm and was contracted by the city to fix a computer problem. The Sun regrets the error.

The indictment alleges that Iloamuzo filed a total of 64 fraudulent tax returns seeking refunds of more than $220,000 when he left the housing authority and started his own businesses. The indictment also alleges that he collected about $104,000 on 29 of the returns before the scheme was discovered by Internal Revenue Service agents.

Each count of filing false IRS claims carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Each count of identity theft carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

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