Almost There:Yafait Tadesse and Eyaso Abebe filed fake tax return as Eric Holder

The Wall Street Journal 

By Andrew Grossman
File photo of U.S. Attorney General Holder speaking at the Justice Department in Washington
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at the Justice Department in Washington in this file photo taken June 25, 2013. Holder said his agency was stepping up efforts to stem sharp increases in deadly heroin overdoses, trafficking in the drug and abuse of prescription narcotics at the root of what he called an “urgent public health crisis.” REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Files (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW DRUGS SOCIETY)

Not even the nation’s top law-enforcement officer is safe from the growing number of fraudsters filing false tax returns based on stolen identities.

Two Georgia men filed a tax return with the name, birthday and social security number of Attorney General Eric Holder in hopes of getting his refund, according to federal prosecutors in Atlanta. Mr. Holder was one of several people targeted by Yafait Tadesse and Eyaso Abebe, both of whom have pleaded guilty to charges related to the scheme.

Fraudulent income tax returns are a growing problem that Mr. Holder’s Justice Department is working to combat. Typically, perpetrators steal the personal information of victims, fill out returns that would entitle them to a refund, then file them electronically.

“Identity theft affects people from all walks of life, from hardworking taxpayers trying to make ends meet, to senior government officials,” said Sally Quillian Yates, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.

A spokesman for Mr. Holder declined to comment on his case.

In the Atlanta case, Messrs. Tadesse and Abebe filled out returns saying that all of their victims worked at Wal-Mart and had similar incomes, according to prosecutors. Some of the refunds were paid out, but others were stopped.

The refund claimed by the two men in Mr. Holder’s name wasn’t paid out, a spokesman for the Atlanta U.S. Attorney’s office said.

Attorneys for the two men didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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