A federal jury on Wednesday found a Patterson man guilty in a scheme to use stolen identities to file fake tax returns and pocket more than $815,000 in refunds, according to U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley’s office.
The three-day trial involving 36-year-old Louis W. Carbins Jr. ended after 30 minutes of jury deliberation, Finley’s office said in a news release. Carbins was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S., seven counts of theft of government money and one count of aggravated identity theft.
Carbins and his co-defendant, 39-year-old Laphrida T. Watts of Morgan City, knew people overseas who used the stolen identities to file the fake tax returns and then directed the IRS to deposit the money into Carbins’ bank accounts, the release stated. Carbins will be sentenced Aug. 29.
Carbins and Watts spent more than $45,000 in the stolen funds and wired some of the money to their overseas contacts.
Watts pleaded guilty in January to a count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and one count of aggravated identity theft and is scheduled to be sentenced June 28.
Each faces a combined 12 years in prison on the conspiracy and identity theft counts. Carbins also faces up to 10 years in prison for the seven counts of theft of government money.