LOS ANGELES –Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced that late yesterday, Dominique Lewis, an influential member of the Baby Insane Crips, a Long Beach street gang that operated a scheme to perpetrate tax fraud, pled guilty to 18 felony charges including identity theft, grand theft, and conspiracy. Lewis was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
Lewis, who was brought into custody after being at large for 10 months, was a ringleader behind a theft scheme that compromised the personal identifying information of hundreds of Californians and resulted in losses of more than $3.2 million in taxpayer funds.
“Stealing the identity and personal information of hundreds of innocent people who work hard to earn their money is unconscionable, and it is also against the law,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Lewis is answering for his reckless behavior and the crimes he committed that put the privacy and safety of Californians at risk. I want to thank the Long Beach Police Department, United States Postal Inspection Service, the prosecution team from my eCrime Unit (eCU) and Financial Fraud and Special Prosecutions Section for their hard work in bringing Lewis to justice.”
Tax return fraud occurs when an individual files a fraudulent tax return with someone else's personal identifying information and collects a tax refund from the IRS. Victims are unlikely to know their identities have been stolen until they attempt to file a tax return that is rejected by the IRS because one has already been filed.
The Attorney General's Office has issued tips for Californians to avoid tax-related identity theft and on how consumers can protect themselves. These tips and additional resources can be found here.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra / Friday, April 7, 2017