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For Immediate Release
August 19, 2004
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

TAX SCAMMER FOUND GUILTY OF FELONY THEFT

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. and State Comptroller William Donald Schaefer jointly announced today that Mark Givens,37, who formerly resided at 2009 Annapolis Road, Baltimore, was found guilty of felony theft and providing false information to the Comptroller, by the Honorable Joseph P. Manck, Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. The convictions stem from his filing of 169 fraudulent Maryland State income tax returns for tax years 2002 and 2003 in two separate incidents.

Givens, who has been incarcerated since his arrest in Harrisburg, PA on May 21,2004 was sentenced to two concurrent 18 month sentences. He was also placed on 5 years supervised probation upon his release and ordered to pay over $25,000 to the Comptroller’s Office.

Between February and April 20, 2003, Givens filed 56 fraudulent Maryland state income tax returns for tax year 2002, requesting refunds totaling $14,970.00 of which he received $5,087.00 in stolen refund monies with 42 of the 56 returns intercepted by the Comptroller. He filed the electronic tax returns from City and County public library branches using the Comptroller’s internet ifile program, using fictitious taxpayer and W2 information. All of the stolen refund monies were direct deposited in a Provident Bank account in his name.

While pending trial on the charges stemming from the 56 false returns, Givens began filing additional fraudulent state income tax returns this past January for tax year 2003. He filed 113 fraudulent electronic ifile state income tax returns for which he received $23,151.00 in stolen refund monies, using the same scheme that he employed in the first case. The Comptroller intercepted another $11,565.00 in refund monies.

In the second incident, Givens directed that the stolen refund monies be electronically transferred into 25 online internet debit/credit card accounts with Netspend, an internet financial institution. The accounts were opened with fictitious names, and many were the same as he used on the fraudulent returns in the first case, such as Richard Scurry, Ronald Allen, Dana Alexander, Austin Powers and Benedict Arnold. Out of 25 accounts that he opened, 19 of the account holders shared the same date of birth, 2/13/74. Many of the 25 separate account holders shared a common street address.

The case was referred by the Comptroller’s Office, and investigated and prosecuted by the Maryland State Police and the Office of the Attorney General, Criminal Investigations Division.

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