RALEIGH — A Pembroke man will go to prison after being sentenced Tuesday on federal charges related to identity theft and filing false income tax claims and will have to pay more than $1.8 million in restitution.
Robbie Glenn Revels, 45, of Pembroke was sentenced to four years, five months, in prison on charges of false, fictitious and fraudulent claims and aggravated identity theft. He was ordered to pay $1,806,734 to the Internal Revenue Service.
In 2013, agents with the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation received information that Revels was filing false income tax returns and investigated, according to court documents. The investigation found that between January 2011 and January 2013, Revels engaged in a scheme to defraud the United States government of millions of dollars by filing false income tax returns, according to the Department of Justice.
“Just as the filing season has ended, today’s sentencing of Robbie Revels, for filing false tax returns and identity theft, is a powerful reminder of what can happen when you decide to steal from honest taxpayers,” Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Holloman III said Tuesday. “IRS agents will continue their aggressive pursuit of those who attempt to defraud the United States Treasury, erode taxpayer’s confidence in the tax system and show blatant disregard for the victims of their schemes.”
In 2009, Revels opened Fashion Icons, a retail clothing store, in Pembroke, and had multiple employees. In 2011, Revels began filing false income tax returns for the 2010 tax year. According to the Department of Justice, he recruited several employees from his store and relatives to participate in the scheme by using their bank accounts to receive deposits of fraudulent refunds. According to these people, Revels did not pay them for their services directly, but he bought them clothes, food, and provided other benefits.
Revels typically filed returns claiming $4,000 to $5,000 in refunds by using falsified W-2 wages and withholdings, medical expenses, charitable donations, and job expenses.
Agents determined that more than $1.5 million from these returns went directly into Revels’ employees’ bank accounts. While some of the taxpayers whose names were used to file the returns may have been aware of the fraudulent returns being filed in their names, most of them did not, according to the Department of Justice.
Reach Mike Gellatly at 910-816-1989 or via Twitter @MikeGellatly