A former Antioch police officer and his wife have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a tax fraud conspiracy involving $720,530 worth of stolen U.S. Treasury checks, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
The couple were among 11 people indicted in December 2015 on charges of conspiring to commit identity theft and tax fraud. Most of the defendants are from the Bay Area.
Between January and April of 2015, Gary and Ana Bostick filed false federal income tax returns in the names of deceased individuals to obtain fraudulent federal income tax refunds, then cashed the checks at Wal-Mart stores, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The Pittsburg couple used online resources including www.rootsweb.ancestry.com and www.ssnvalidator.com to obtain names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers, then directed Internal Revenue Service correspondence to addresses they could access.
Ana Bostick admitted to obtaining false identification matching the names on the checks. She also cashed two of the checks, then kept the proceeds. Gary Bostick traveled to Los Angeles with two co-conspirators to obtain the checks then went to Wal-Marts in various areas, including Kentucky, to cash them.
Ana Bostick was charged with conspiracy to commit theft of public money, theft of public money and aggravated identity theft. She pleaded guilty Tuesday. She returns to court for sentencing Nov. 14.
The maximum sentence for theft of public money is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The mandatory minimum sentence for aggravated identity theft is two years in prison.
Gary Bostick was indicted on conspiracy to commit theft of public money, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. He pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and wire fraud charges this morning, but the identity theft charges were dropped as part of his plea deal. He returns to court for sentencing Sept. 19.
The maximum sentence for wire fraud is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum sentence for conspiracy to commit theft of public money is five years in prison.
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