Trial set in scheme to steal millions from IRS

Michael Oluwasegun Kazeem, 24, arrested in February

Michael Oluwasegun Kazeem. (Jackson Co)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Federal prosecutors couldn’t reach a plea deal with a man linked to the theft of 250,000 identities and $4.7 million in illegal tax refunds.

Michael Oluwasegun Kazeem, 24, is being held in the Jackson County Jail in Medford.

Federal law enforcement agents arrested Kazeem in Georgia in February 2016 after an Oregon federal grand jury filed a 14-page indictment.

On Monday, Kazeem was supposed to change his plea but reportedly backed out. Trial is now scheduled for the end of July.

The indictment alleges that, beginning in 2012, Kazeem, along with his brother, Emmanuel Oluwatosin Kazeem, and several others engaged in an identity theft conspiracy, in Oregon and elsewhere, involving a scheme to obtain millions of dollars in fraudulent tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Federal prosecutors allege that the Kazeem brothers and their co-conspirators used stolen personal identifying information (PII) and gained unauthorized access into the IRS system to obtain taxpayer information.

Records show in total, Michael Kazeem and his co-conspirators are accused of stealing more than 250,000 individual taxpayers’ personal information and filed over 2,900 false federal tax returns seeking over $25 million in fraudulent refunds.

The IRS rejected millions of dollars of fraudulently claimed refunds; however, the indictment alleges that the defendants successfully obtained $4.7 million in illegal refunds.

Court records show other suspects identified in the case are: Oluwatobi Rueben Dehinbo, Lateef Aina Animawun, Oluwaseunara Temitope Osanyinbi, Oluwamuyiwa Abolad Olawoye.