Feds: Chicago man used stolen identities to file false tax returns

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A Chicago man used stolen identities to file false income tax returns worth more than $400,000, according to a federal indictment announced Wednesday.

Carlos L. Smith was charged with 14 counts of wire fraud, nine counts of theft of government funds, six counts of aggravated identity theft and five counts of filing false income tax returns, a total of 34 federal counts, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Beginning in February 2013, Smith operated CLS Financial Services, a company that assisted with credit repair, business consulting and tax return preparation, according to the indictment. He used individuals’ names and Social Security numbers to prepare false tax returns that each claimed thousands of dollars in tax returns, according to prosecutors.

The U.S. Treasury refund checks were mailed to addresses linked to Smith or directly deposited into bank accounts he controlled, according to the indictment. He also filed false returns in his own name.

In total, Smith prepared false returns that claimed refunds of more than $400,000, according to the indictment.

He faces up to 20 years for each wire fraud count, up to 10 years for each theft count, up to two years for each identity theft count and up to three years for each count of filing false tax returns. He could also be fined and ordered to pay restitution.

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