TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A 38-year-old Tampa woman was sentenced to federal prison and ordered to pay nearly $350,000 in restitution for orchestrating a scheme to fraudulently obtain bank loans using counterfeit checks.
According to court documents, in February 2018, Tampa Police officers found 38-year-old Lim-Tom, and her coconspirator, 50-year-old Sonya Seago, both of Tampa, with 1,500 individuals’ stolen personal identifications.
An investigation found that between 2012 and February 2018, Lim-Tom manufactured counterfeit checks with fraudulent company names and bank account numbers belonging to victim businesses. The counterfeit checks would then be cashed for personal profit.
Lim-Tom would also recruit and pay others to receive the checks and provide her with the proceeds. The face value of the fraudulent checks involved in the scheme was more than $600,000.
In another investigation, authorities learned that Lim-Tom used the IDs to commit bank fraud, tax fraud, and credit card fraud.
Between March 2013 and July 2014, Lim-Tom used the stolen identities to illegally receive tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Four of her fraudulent tax refunds totaled $27,000. She also attempted an additional 56 fraudulent refunds totaling more than $300,000.
Over the next three years, Lim-Tom and Seago used the stolen IDs to get fraudulent credit cards, which were used to make more than $215,000 in purchases.
On Feb. 15, 2023, Seago was sentenced to 32 months in federal prison for her role in the fraud offenses.
Kemi Lim-Tom was sentenced to eight years and four months in federal prison for bank fraud, tax fraud, credit card fraud, and aggravated identity theft. She was also ordered to pay $345,943.49 in restitution.
“Greed is a strong motivator for illegal activity and these sentencings demonstrate our commitment to hold criminals accountable for their corrupt behavior,” said IRS-CI Acting Special Agent in Charge Ronald A. Loecker. “These individuals demonstrated a blatant disregard for the United States tax system and caused immeasurable damage to innocent victims.” Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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