2 brothers, sister convicted in identity theft, mail fraud scheme in Ann Arbor

Siblings convicted on numerous counts in connection with scheme

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Two brothers and a sister were convicted Thursday in an identity theft, mail fraud and money laundering scheme in Ann Arbor.

Anthony Gandy, Christopher Gandy and Sharon Gandy-Micheau were convicted on numerous counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and engaging in illegal monetary transactions, officials said.

The conspiracy involved over 20 fraudulent income tax returns for trusts that requested over $1.4 million in refunds. Officials said the IRS mailed the defendants refund checks totaling $940,000.

Evidence showed the defendants were part of a scheme to file fake tax returns by opening post office boxes and bank accounts to receive the proceeds of the scheme.

The funds were either deposited into the bank accounts and the proceeds quickly withdrawn or the refund checks were cashed by a Detroit-area check-cashing store.

Two witnesses testified that they had lost their identification cards and Social Security cards, and the documents or images of the documents were found at Gandy-Micheau's home. Their identification cards were used to further the scheme, officials said.

"These defendants attempted to steal taxpayer money, and they did so by using the identities of innocent victims," U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade said. "This case should signal the ability of IRS investigators to detect fraud and bring offenders to justice."

"Investigating refund fraud and identity theft remains a priority for IRS criminal investigation," IRS criminal investigation special agent in charge Manny Muriel said. "Today's guilty verdicts should send a clear message to would-be criminals that IRS criminal investigation will continue to pursue those who prey on innocent victims and steal from the American tax system."

The siblings are scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 21.